The North Queensland Roadshow, a pioneering initiative by Awesome Women in Construction (AWIC), recently made a stop in Moranbah. The event is part of a broader strategy to inspire the next generation to consider careers in the construction industry.
We had the chance to catch up with Amanda Bulow, the founder of AWIC, to discuss the roadshow and the changing landscape of women in construction.
Amanda is a seasoned expert with over 24 years in residential construction as a procurement and estimating specialist. Her lack of connection with other women in the industry led her to start AWIC.
Beginning with a breakfast meeting of 14 women in 2017, the organisation grew exponentially, attracting 48 women within three months. Today, AWIC is a resource hub that connects, supports, and advocates for women in construction.
“When people hear ‘construction as a woman,’ they often think, ‘oh, hell no,’ but it’s not all about dirty trucks and tool belts,” Amanda said.
Amanda said there is a diverse range of roles in the industry, from hands-on jobs on construction sites to positions in management, design, and engineering. Amanda’s career spanned multiple roles, some of which involved building $40 million worth of homes.
AWIC collaborates with state governments and other industry leaders to improve the industry. They have seen a positive shift in the industry over the years with increased investment and engagement to bring more women into the industry.
“Now it’s great to see so many women in trades, engineering, or manufacturing,” said Amanda.
In Moranbah, AWIC provided students with tote bags containing resources, including an app called ‘Be Ready’ that recommends career pathways in construction based on a questionnaire. Developed in collaboration with Queensland University Technology, the app guides young people toward career options ranging from truck driving to architecture.
For young women interested in entering the field, Amanda has some simple advice.
“Just do it. Reach out to someone already in the role to get a snapshot of what a day in that job is like.
“You can also become an AWIC member so that we connect you and keep you informed across the many aspects, including training tools and mentorship available.”
The North Queensland Roadshow continued on to visit more locations, including Townsville and Cairns. With each stop, AWIC aims to break down barriers, educate, and inspire the next generation of construction industry professionals.
By fostering an inclusive environment and partnering with local businesses and educational institutions, AWIC is building the foundation for a more diverse and prosperous construction industry in Australia.