Women’s group building strong links in the construction business

Neha Attre 29 March 2021 1
ACT Women in Construction lunch

Master Builders Association ACT Women in Construction lunch for International Women’s Day. Pictured (from left): Sarah Flanagan (Harvey Norman Commercial), Jo Farrell (Kane Constructions), Emily Duggan, Graciete Ferreira (MBA) and Emily Shoemark (Snedden Hall & Gallop). Photo: Supplied.

An innovative concept connecting women in the construction sector so they can share ideas while running a business and balancing the rest of their lives is going from strength to strength.

Member services director at Master Builders Association of the ACT Ashlee Berry said the idea to create the Women In Construction group was floated during a discussion with their members.

“Many of our members are small businesses and we realised that they usually have a woman working in the back office and taking care of bookkeeping and marketing. A lot of them did not have networks and were not a part of other groups or associations, so we thought this would be a great opportunity to help our members,” she said.

Emily Duggan

Emily Duggan was the keynote speaker at a recent lunch for International Women’s Day hosted by MBA’s Women in Construction program and Snedden Hall and Gallop. Photo: Supplied.

The group was created in 2018 by Master Builders ACT along with founding partners Snedden Hall & Gallop and Harvey Norman Commercial which recognises the many women working behind the scenes of their member businesses that they represent.

“Their contribution through their varied roles are critical to the operation and success of the businesses that they work in. Many of the women in the group run the office and family. The aim of this initiative is to connect women with other women so they can share advice when it comes to running a business while balancing the rest of life’s challenges and triumphs,” Mrs Berry added.


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The group holds educational sessions and organises social networking events so members can connect with each other.

Last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, they were unable to host events. However, they have a list of events planned for 2021 including an International Women’s Day lunch and wine tour later this year.

They are thankful for the support of Snedden Hall & Gallop who have helped them set up the Women in Construction group and have been involved since the beginning.

“SHG has a number of female leaders and I feel that helps them understand the issues that are being experienced by a lot of our members and gives them an insight into the trials, troubles and issues these women are facing. They understand women and the situation in the market and give appropriate advice,” Mrs Berry said.

“They also help us in delivering a lot of education events and also provide financial support.”

Emily Shoemark, Sam Irvine, Prue Bindon

Emily Shoemark and Sam Irvine from Snedden Hall & Gallop with Prue Bindon at the Women in Construction lunch. Photo: Supplied.

Snedden Hall Gallop senior associate Emily Shoemark says being a founding partner of the program is a natural fit for the Canberra law firm.

“We recognise the important role that women play in the construction industry and it has been a really rewarding experience so far,” she said.

One of the Women in Construction group members Sally Hall from Build Professional says the group provides them with a perfect opportunity to meet and connect with other women in similar roles.

“I think the establishment of Women in Construction group is an important initiative and the proactive role that the MBA is having in the group is very positive. It’s a promising time not only for the women in the industry but also for the industry itself,” she said.

“I love women supporting women and business supporting business. It’s not about competing against each other but actually coming together as a group to share ideas, knowledge and mentoring for the greater good of each individual, business and of course, the construction industry.”


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One Response to Women’s group building strong links in the construction business
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Peter Curtis Peter Curtis 11:23 pm 05 May 21

It is said that women will or do make better more humane leaders which will be better for the society. Can someone explain to me how these women are doing this. Or are they just good capitalists too and as exploitative as their male counterparts?

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