NAWIC is The National Association of Women in Construction for New Zealand.
After four years as the Chairperson for NAWIC in Auckland, National Senior Recruitment Manager Jenny Parker has been appointed unopposed as the NAWIC President Elect. Jenny will support current NAWIC President Donna Howell for one year before taking up the role of NAWIC President at the end of 2017.
As the leading voice of women in the construction industry, NAWIC is a non-profit association of women who work either in the construction industry or for organisations who provide services to the construction industry.
The number of women in the construction industry has grown exponentially in recent years and women are hard at work in just about every construction job. This growth has prompted the establishment and success of NAWIC in New Zealand.
NAWIC was founded in Texas in 1952 by a group of 16 women. Since then, it has grown to an international organisation reaching the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. NAWIC New Zealand has been active in Wellington since 1996, and has recently established Chapters in Auckland and Canterbury. Members include quantity surveyors, project managers, suppliers, planners, designers, architects, engineers, tradespeople and lawyers.
NAWIC encourages women to pursue, establish and sustain successful careers in the construction industry. Their vision is to be the leading voice for women in the New Zealand industry. They hold regular events to inform and up-skill women in construction and to promote networking and information sharing for the betterment of the construction industry as a whole.
Every year it gets busier and busier. As a professional you have to be better, look better, sound better and of course do better at your job.
Meanwhile on the home front, women all over the country are being stretched and challenged in their more traditional roles, as mums and wives and even in their social lives and extended family commitments.
Jenny Parker knows this feeling all too well as she juggles her roles as mum, wife, recruiter and as the Chairperson for a modern, non-profit organisation for women in construction. She admits that she wasn't always a good juggler but being a mum and wife come first. However her family fully support her because they know how big her love is for the industry.
NAWIC's first event for 2016 was held in February, at the JASMAX offices in Parnell, where more than 60 women gathered to join professional speaker and life coach Robyn Pearce and Jenny Parker to discuss how 21st century women in
NZ are coping with demanding career commitments and raising a family.
Jenny says NAWIC’s vision for 2016 is to increase membership in trades; have increased collaboration with their industry; work more with schools and tertiary institutions as well as holding national events and panel discussions throughout
"We want more women to know there is an organisation making a difference." she explains. "I think it's vital to be seen to have a more rounded contribution to the industry. My clients want to see more value, more passion and a commitment to the industry that they belong to too. It adds more credibility to my work in recruitment. To see successful people in the industry is a strong passion of mine and being able to demonstrate it is just gold."
The good news is that women are being heard, they are making career choices that challenge them in the industry and are making a difference in every sector with more confidence and support from their employers and leaders. The bad news is that it's not enough. Changing perceptions and expectations of what a woman can or cannot do is slow to come, but NAWIC is that the forefront of that change.
As Chairperson for NAWIC, Jenny feels she is making a difference to women by giving them the confidence to share their stories with others, to encourage their daughters, nieces, sisters to study or join the industry and also helping to provide a strong platform to support, encourage and inspire them.
NAWIC Seminar on Gender Balance - July 2016