NAWIC Press Release 20 March, 2017

Where are the female leaders in New Zealand’s construction industry?

More women than ever are joining New Zealand’s booming construction industry with the number of women in construction doubling to 17 per cent over the last 15 years but this increase hasn’t resulted in more women in leadership roles within the industry.

“While it is fantastic to see increasing numbers of women choosing a career in construction, this isn’t reflected in the participation of women at a decision-making level in construction and in fact all industries across New Zealand,” say National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) president Donna Howell.

Only 20.1 per cent of New Zealand women hold senior leadership positions while just 16.8 per cent of listed companies have female directors.

Donna hopes that the third annual Hays NAWIC Excellence Awards which will be held on 18th August in Auckland will generate plenty of discussion on this topic, while the introduction of a new “rising star” category will provide recognition for future leaders within the construction industry.

“The awards celebrate the achievements of women in construction as well as honouring those organisations which are redressing the industry’s gender imbalance.  

“We’re delighted with the growing number of entries we’re receiving each year and are excited to introduce this new category which will celebrate up and coming leaders who will inspire others to seek out leadership roles within the construction industry.”

Hays is sponsoring the Hays NAWIC Excellence Awards for the third year in a row to recognise the significant contributions being made by women in New Zealand's construction industry.

Hays managing director Jason Walker says Hays is delighted to be sponsoring the awards and is looking forward to reviewing more fantastic entries from inspiring women who work in the fast-growing construction industry.

"As a long-time supporter of NAWIC, sponsoring the Hays NAWIC Excellence Awards is a perfect fit for us. We actively encourage and support the rising numbers of women joining New Zealand's trades and construction industries and are keen to keep recruiting as many as possible.

"The construction industry is rapidly changing and women are definitely making their mark. Women choosing a career in building, construction and the trades are seeing that they can progress up the ranks and operate their own businesses while enjoying high wages and excellent growth and training opportunities." 

Entries/nominations for the awards are open until June 5th. Employers and managers are encouraged to submit nominations on behalf of their staff. The awards have six categories which cover a wide range of roles across the industry. The categories are:

-The Helen Tippett Award which celebrates achievement in advancing the interests of women in the construction industry.

-Tradeswoman of the Year which celebrates the contribution tradeswomen are making to the industry.

-Professional Woman of the Year which focuses on women who have managed a construction project or those who operate their own business in the industry.

-Rising Star which celebrates women who demonstrate future leadership potential within the industry. This category is open to women who have worked in the construction industry for less than seven years.

-Outstanding Achievement in Design which celebrates the design aspect of a construction project in engineering, architecture or urban/landscape design.

-Excellence in Construction Services which honours the contribution of women in administration, sales/marketing or operational roles within the industry.

-Student/Apprentice Excellence Award which is open to all women engaged in construction-related study or apprenticeships.

Visit the NAWIC website for nomination/entry forms and further information

For further information on the 2017 Hays NAWIC Excellence Awards and for interview opportunities please contact:
NAWIC Communications Manager – Gina McKenzie – email:
NAWIC President – Donna Howell – email: