Last month a number of female Wood & Grieve Engineers (WGE) employees took part in the launch of the 2018 500 Women in Property program across Australia. Conceived in 2016, the initiative involves a personal commitment from Property Council of Australia (PCA) members to champion women in their organisations who they believe would benefit from further development opportunities.
The PCA is committed to building a diverse and inclusive industry, working to achieve significant and sustainable increase in the number of women in senior leadership positions.1
WGE Acoustics Engineer Meisha Stevens describes her participation as an opportunity to reach out to senior women in leadership roles.
“I’m committed to shaping my career in the building and property sector, and becoming that senior woman others reach out to. I’m an active participant in many industry diversity groups as I see the genuine value of a diverse workplace and the strengths women bring to the table.”
When asked about her office environment, Meisha praised her colleagues.
“Myself and all of the women in WGE have the support of male co-workers and managers.”
For Senior Electrical Engineer Shreya Venika, this program is an indicator of a step in the right direction to increase female participation within the property industry.
“I believe attributing any industry to a specific gender shackles its growth,” she said.
“It deters genuine talent from diverse community, class, culture and gender to enter the industry or provide decisive contributions.”
Shreya says that as a participant she would strive to find answers to the difficult questions.
“Answers cannot be sought by shying away from situations that could be difficult. I would like to identify the reasons for the difference in opportunities that women within the industry receive opposed to their male counterparts.”
The Australian Workplace Gender and Equality Agency mirrors this thinking by acknowledging each organisation will need to identify the greatest gender equality challenges and opportunities, and plan and prioritise accordingly2.
The 500 Women in Property Program runs from March through to December and will see members attend multiple networking and professional development opportunities throughout the year.