Celebrating International Women
The year of women in construction
You only need to look around the Sunshine Coast at the moment to see the how dynamic this place is in terms of growth, both residentially and commercially. Why? Well, our best kept secret is fast becoming a well-known destination for holiday makers and relocations, which means change…. good change. With an influx of people comes more infrastructure, more job opportunities and a wider talent pool to choose from. And for us at Vantage Building Group (Vantage), one of the most exciting things about this change is that more women are choosing to enter and work in the construction industry.
“Vantage employs the right people for the right job”, says Shane O’Brien, Director of Vantage, “and while we pride ourselves on this fact, we’re also exceptionally thrilled with the number of females employed to help us reach the calibre of work we do. In fact, 30% of our current workforce is made up of women”.
From 2005 through to 2018, together with the accommodation and professional services sectors, construction remained one of the more stable industries amongst its highest competitors throughout the nation. And here on the Sunshine Coast, construction is the second largest employment sector behind Health Care and Social Needs.
With statistics such as this, it’s no wonder more and more women are attracted to the industry. Queensland wide, however, only 12% of the total industry is made up of women. As an industry leader here on the Coast, we want to help pave the way for more women in construction, across both the trade and administration side of the industry.
Roles within construction vary greatly and there’s so many more opportunities available these days, probably more than what is initially perceived when thinking about the industry. From interior design and site supervisors to estimating, drafting, marketing, accounting, project management and the assortment of hands-on trades such as carpentry, plumbing, electrics etc. The prospects are endless.
“After 18 years in business, we are exceptionally proud of the name we’ve created for ourselves here on the Sunshine Coast, as well as the culture we’ve carefully carved for all employees. Women make up 47% of the Australian workforce so in everything we do, we’re hoping to influence more women into the industry as this means a wider skill set, as well as differing perspectives”, says Shane. “The female workforce participation rate is also growing at nine times that of men, therefore we want to attract the strongest talent possible as our people define who we are and the results we achieve.”
Kendra Bullock has been working with Vantage for over 12 years as HR Manager. She has, however, recently evolved her role, following a different passion that, combined with Vantage’s support towards her professional development has seen her also become our Interior Design Manager. “Kendra has been integral to the direction of the Vantage product” says Kate Mayne, Sales Manager. “We bring together a design and building team to ensure our home plans suit the clients intended lifestyles. Ultimately, our goal is to show new home owners how to achieve a high-quality finish, with a design feel yet at an affordable price”.
“We’re about changing perspectives when it comes to working in the construction industry. When you think of construction you don’t need to see yourself holding a hammer, although no one here at Vantage will stop you” laughs Kate.
The positives of a stable, ever advancing industry just keep growing, not only across the administration arm of the industry, but within the trades. While the laborious side attracts many, and will continue to do so, advancements in technology see this side becoming less intense
Antonia O’Brien has been with Vantage for over two years now, is a graduate of Curtain University with a Master in Architecture, and is part of our Drafting team. For Antonia, the biggest attraction continues to be the achievement associated with starting with a bare, blank canvas and working to create a masterpiece, that in many instances, has a lasting impact. “I enjoy site visits and watching the build come to life. The reality of the building site can be quite different, you learn so much from the site Forman and trades that it really translates back into your future creations.”
Part of the Vantage mission is to make sure they are offering the Sunshine Coast community opportunities to get the best and to be the best. As Shane continues, “40% of our senior managers are females, a figure that we are exceptionally proud of. We also pride ourselves on promoting within and get a huge sense of achievement by seeing dedicated employees come to us in an apprenticeship, internship or graduate role and then watching them develop into outstanding leaders, who drive the industry forward”
As the Sunshine Coast continues to move forward, you can be sure Vantage will be at the forefront of this growth, and as we continue on this journey, watch this space as we’ll be constructing our leaders of the future too.