Beautiful views over the Waitemata Harbour to the Auckland Harbour Bridge couldn’t help but make this event even more special for the 232 finalists, friends and whanau who attended the event at the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron in Auckland on Friday night, September 27th.
“The awards programme aims to celebrate and honour the achievements of women working in construction and affiliated industries,” explained National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) President Jenny Parker. “We also recognise those organisations active in redressing the gender imbalance in the industry.”
Greg Durkin of BCITO acknowledged and appreciated the efforts made by every finalist to improve their world. Their own aim is to have 10 percent of apprentices as women now, rising to 30 percent by 2040. He pointed out that this ratio is already at 19 percent in the Painting sector, so these figures are not unreasonable in what is a thriving construction economy.
The attached summary of winners in all categories illustrates just how broad a range of industries, experience and skills are represented across these Awards. As guest speaker Nancy McConnell pointed out people can’t be winners every day, but that doesn’t mean our efforts aren’t always worthy and we’re not resilient, ready to try again next time.
Helen Tippett’s eldest daughter Victoria Quade presented NAWIC’s premier award, the Helen Tippett Award and trophy to Colleen Upton, General Manager-Director of Hutt Gas and Plumbing in Lower Hutt. This is the first time a trophy has been awarded, but is something that will continue.
Of the 76 entries received, 42 finalists were selected and 12 winners were honoured at the event, as were 16 “highly commended” or “special merit” women. This represents the second-highest number of entries ever received – a number of construction companies have exited the industry since 84 entries were received in 2017. Judges were pleased to note that there has been a steady increase in entries from apprentices/students, tradeswomen and rising stars.
“[This] is a great chance to encourage women in their careers,” said judges. “We heard their passion and dedication, modesty and humility – most thinking they were just doing their jobs. They don’t realise how extraordinary they are.”