Adaptation, change, and equality – women to the front of the built environment

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International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The theme this year is #BreaktheBias. 

With the currently still unfolding devastation of flooding playing out across our communities in NSW and QLD, women are playing a critical role in protecting their communities from the impacts of climate change at all levels as decision makers, educators and advocates. 

The built environment plays a critical role in shifting the dial on climate change and preventing the kinds of community damage we are seeing with these floods. 

“I would strongly encourage women to consider a career in the built and natural environment,” Consult Australia chief operating officer Nicola Grayson.

“Women are in a great place to step into a career in this industry, and what better industry to step into than this one that is doing so much to invest in climate and to help the economy recover from COVID-19. These skill sets are going to be shaping Australia for decades to come. Now is a wonderful time to step into the industry, and into leadership opportunities.”

In the built environment sectors architecture and construction are still overwhelmingly male-dominated, despite incentives like Property Champions of Change and the NSW government’s Investing in Women Funding Program. 

Ms Grayson says that mentorship and interventions like these are vital to progress gender equality in the natural and built environment sectors.

“Having someone in leadership sponsoring me made an enormous impact and really helped me in terms of progressing. When I look back, there’s two or three people that made a big impact on me and steered me through choppy waters. I’ve been lucky enough to have those role models, I know a lot of women aren’t.”

“There’s an enormous role that leaders can play in women’s leadership development. Championing women in the business, talking loudly about fantastic performance of women and breaking that ‘tapping on the shoulder’ network of recruitment and promotion.”

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