Sexism and workplace gender inequality remain an unfortunate reality in Australia. International Women’s Day is a chance for all of us to reflect on the history of gender inequality; listen to the lived experiences of women around us; take the time to learn from the past; and implement real, tangible solutions for a fairer future.

This International Women’s Day, the Sienna Homes team reflect on how we prioritise gender parity within our own organisation, and how we can cultivate a positive and empowering work environment for Australian women into the future.

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Women in construction

In Australia, construction has traditionally been an overwhelmingly male-dominated field, with women representing just 11% of the current workforce and 1% of trades roles. It’s no secret that the industry has a long way to go when it comes to gender bias in the workplace – whether onsite or in the office.

Unconscious gender biases, lack of training opportunities and other barriers to entry often deter women from pursuing careers in construction and design spaces – but we’re proud to be able to say that Sienna Homes goes against the grain in this regard.

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Celebrating our team

Since Sienna Homes was founded in 2007, we have always strived to recognise gender inequality in the workplace and empower the incredible women who work for us to reach their professional goals.

Women make up 50% of our staff and, critically, 50% of our senior management team. We know that our team’s diversity is an asset that only makes our business stronger and our creative approach to building amazing homes more nuanced. That’s why we’re so passionate about promoting equal opportunity within the business. 

Sienna Homes also actively participates in events and fundraisers that reflect our mission to nurture women in the building industry, including most recently the HIA Building Women’s Luncheon.

At Sienna Homes, we’re not ones to rest on our laurels, which means we’re seeking to gain greater female representation within our construction team. We will be delighted to welcome our first-ever female site supervisor as soon as the opportunity arises.

Sienna Homes team. Source: Sienna Homes.

Skills and education

At Sienna Homes, we’re passionate about leveling the playing field via upskilling our staff. We celebrate the diverse talents of our team members and identify their potential to grow professionally, which has seen many enroll in a Diploma in Building and Construction (Management). Of those enrolled, we’re proud to say 70% are women.

All Sienna Homes staff participate in mandatory annual bullying and harassment training to ensure our business provides a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace.

Source: Shuttershock.

Source: Shuttershock.

Outside construction

While the Sienna Homes teams day-to-day focus is on creating amazing homes, we’re also committed to contributing to our broader community. 

To this end, we allocate resources to social-housing projects and collaborate closely with a variety of not for profit groups including Wayss and The Victorian Homeless Fund on a number of these. Both charities work to provide housing relief for those in need, with a focus on women and children escaping family violence – a cause very close to our hearts.

You can learn more about our collaboration with Wayss and The Victorian Homeless Fund here: Doing our bit to help Families in Crisis – Sienna Homes 

Source: Shuttershock.

Looking forward

At Sienna Homes we’re very proud of our team. Every single staff member brings to their role a wealth of experience – personal and professional – and their unique perspective is invaluable to our day-to-day work.

As we honour International Women’s Day this year, it’s important to look to the future, and consider ways we can continue to do better by the women in our team.

With an estimated 300,000 new workers urgently required in the industry, endorsing a more positive experience for women in construction can only lead to positive outcomes for everyone.