An equal world is an enabled world – and every one of us can play our part to accelerate gender equality.
That’s the message from International Women’s Day 2020. A chance to celebrate social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, IWD also reminds us of the role each of us plays in challenging stereotypes, fighting bias, broadening perceptions and increasing the visibility of women in our workplaces.
At RLB, we recruit, retain, develop and promote a diverse workforce, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because our diversity is a key differentiator. We’re in the business of pushing the boundaries of best practice and rely on our diverse team of thinkers to look at problems from every angle.
Lauren Papettas is one of RLB’s talented team members helping to forge a gender equal world.
Currently undertaking a Bachelor of Urban Development and Construction Management at Queensland University of Technology, Lauren started her career in hospitality, events and tourism. ‘But I always knew I wanted to specialise in something – I just wasn’t sure what that something was,’ she says.
As Lauren investigated her options, a construction career emerged as the perfect balance of challenge, reward and lifestyle.
‘I knew what I was looking for: a great culture where I would be encouraged to learn and develop my skills, be exposed to opportunities and challenges, and be a part of the bigger picture.’
Lauren discovered RLB while doing her research. ‘RLB fitted the profile of what I wanted from a workplace.’ She forwarded her CV to our Brisbane office and soon started a nine-month stint as a cadet quantity surveyor.
For the last year, Lauren has been a member of RLB’s newest team, Programming and Delay Claim Analysis, and helps advise clients on project-related time risks from feasibility through to completion.
‘My experience so far has been very positive. I have made some great friends in the industry at different levels who treat me just as me.’
What is the biggest misconception in the construction industry?
‘There are a lot of misconceptions, but the most persistent one is that construction is still a male dominated industry. I feel it’s just not the case. I work and study with a large number of women who are already in the industry, or who are working towards being a part of the industry.’
Lauren’s experience is certainly reflected in the most recent statistics. While some job roles remain male-dominated, overall the industry is making significant progress towards gender balance. The 2019 Male Champions of Change Impact Report, released in January, found that property and construction companies achieved gender balance or increased women’s representation in more than 80 per cent of employment categories.
So, what’s Lauren’s advice to other young women starting out in construction?
‘I always put my hand up, speak up and treat those I work with as equals,’ she says.
As IWD 2020 reminds us, each one of us can help create a gender equal world. Let’s all be #EachforEqual.