Awards Recognise Women in Construction

Although construction has traditionally been considered a male dominated industry, the annual National Association Women in Construction Awards proves that there are women who are excelling in this “macho” industry.

The winners of the NAWIC Awards were announced on 14 August in Brisbane during an awards ceremony during which 2 Gladstone women were among those recognised for their contribution to the male dominated industry.

The 2 women, Zoe Chesters and Emily Russell were nominated for the health and safety and/or environment award at the annual awards ceremony.

In an article on, one of the nominees Ms Chesters, an environmental inspector for Bechtel, said she was nominated for doing her job well.

She went on to say:

“I just make sure I get the job done,” she said. “It is a male-dominated industry.



“But the guys on site are pretty good. I don’t let the fact that I’m a female stop me.”




Chesters, who has a Bachelor of Science, majoring in environment, encouraged other women to join the construction industry. She explained that more and more women are entering the construction industry and are being drawn by its dynamic nature. She went on to state:

“I get more stick from the guys for being environmental than I do for being a woman,” she said.

“The number of women in the workforce is growing more and more.

“The industry is always changing, it’s interesting and can take you anywhere.”


Another female being recognised for her good work in the industry is also an environmental manager, Emily Russell who says she doesn’t even notice that she is working in a traditionally male dominated field because there are women on every level of the construction industry, more than the outsider would imagine.

The article on went on to quote Ms Russell,

“It doesn’t matter what sex you are. What matters is your level of professionalism, communication skills and your ability to problem-solve.”



Russell expressed her joy at being recognised for a job well done.

More and more women are recognising the benefits of joining the construction industry. Despite the stereotypical notions that most people hold of the construction industry, (of chauvinistic overweight construction workers heckling at women on and off site), these out dated and ridiculous ideas of the construction industry could not be further from the truth. In fact the opportunities for females to enter the industry are just as vast as it is for their male counterparts.

Women are increasingly being drawn to the industry which offers a number of rewards as well as a number of challenges.

Males as well as females will have to contend with the health and safety issues that are presented by construction work. In order to do this they must receive the necessary safety training, beginning with the White Card induction course followed by any necessary site specific and task specific training as applicable to the site, their job and tasks being allocated.