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Past IWD Scholarship Winners


Gabrielle French

NAWIC is pleased to present this important piece of primary research prepared by NAWIC IWD Scholarship recipient Gabrielle French, entitled: Investigating the Influence of Adverse Interpersonal Experiences (Bullying, Undermining, Gaslighting) on Female Engagement in the Construction Industry: Implications for Apprenticeship Completion and the Progression of Women as Competent and Qualified Tradespersons.

This research delves into the many challenges faced by women in construction. Importantly it highlights a range of opportunities and ways which we can improve women’s participation and equity in the industry. We thank Gabrielle for her important contribution to the industry.  

View full report here


Emma Georgiou

NAWIC is delighted to announce the 2021 International Women’s Day (IWD) Scholarship has been awarded to Emma Georgiou, Senior Specialist,Programs at Acciona.

Emma’s winning submission was entitled, 'Challenging norms in recruitment for Construction: Redefining the talent pool to increase women’s representation at all levels'. Emma plans to focus her research around the question, ‘Can the construction industry reframe its perspective of a female “talent pool” so it turns into an ocean of non-traditional talent, which benefits not only the industry but the economic advancement of women in Australia and the wider economy?'

View full report here


Sarah Lawlor 

NAWIC is delighted to announce the 2020 International Women’s Day (IWD) Scholarship has been awarded to Sarah Lawlor, Registered Senior Architect at fjmt studio, for her timely and relevant research proposal Is Climate Leadership in the Construction Industry ‘Women’s Business’?

Sarah's paper was based on the premise that gender equity and diversity in leadership has been proven to improve business profitability and explored whether this trend extends to sustainability related roles in the built environment. It also aimed to explore the diversity of the sector and to promote diversity in leadership as a mechanism to improve sustainability outcomes. Overall, the study uncovered a diverse sustainability sector, in which women participate at higher levels than in other areas of the built environment.

View full report here


Dr. Fiona Lamari

NAWIC is delighted to announce the 2019 NAWIC International Women's Day Scholarship has been awarded to Fiona Lamari, Lecturer in Construction Project Management at Queensland University of Technology.

Fiona’s research proposal titled ‘Engagement with Regional School Students through Virtual Construction Site Tour ‐ an Immersive Experience’ aims to promote the exciting and diverse careers in the construction industry to female high school students through virtual reality. Fiona's research will enable students to step onto a construction site and experience a high-rise building being developed. Fiona’s study will also measure the effectiveness of virtual reality as an engagement strategy for regional female high‐school students.

View full report here


Dr. Phillippa Carnemolla

NAWIC is delighted to announce the 2018 NAWIC International Women's Day Scholarship has been awarded to industrial designer, researcher  and design educator, Dr Philippa Carnemolla. 

Phillippa's research will examine at high school girls’ opinions and perceptions of the construction industry and trades. It will also investigate their parents’ perceptions to understand the role they play in girls’ career choices. Recommendations from the research results will enable NAWIC, and broader construction networks, to better engage with school-aged girls and communicate the potential for a construction career for women.

View full report here


Sara Prendergast

NAWIC is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 International Women's Day Scholarship is Sara Prendergast.

Sara will research the ways in which companies can build an operational workforce to open pathways for women to have greater representation in the construction industry with a particular focus on civil construction. Sara’s final report will be available for International Women’s Day 2018. 


Natalie Galea

RIGID, NARROW AND INFORMAL: Shifting the gender imbalance in construction

The construction industry is Australia’s third largest employer and a central economic player in the Australian economy. Despite this, construction remains unyielding as Australia’s most male dominated industry.

NAWIC and leading construction companies recognise that by maintaining the gender status quo in construction, the industry is denying itself of valuable talent and undermining its existing workforce.

To date, initiatives aimed at shifting constructions gender imbalance have been generic in approach and focused on women and individual agency. This report finds that:

  • Rigid work practices, narrow career pathways and informal talent management operate across the career landscape in construction to undermine women’s participation and success in the sector.

  • The same practices also couple to undermine the enjoyment, health, and wellbeing of all construction professionals – men and women. 

  • An acceptance of sexism exists in construction that undermines women’s enjoyment, success and attraction.

The construction industry needs to change to attract women and maintain good talent.

  • Existing construction practices need to be analysed and challenged and leaders need to take ownership of gender diversity.

  • Construction projects need to be planned, resourced and managed with employee wellbeing in mind.

  • No tolerance to sexism must be adopted by all bodies operating in construction – clients, industry bodies, contractors, union and workforce.

View full report here


Lauren Kajewski 

Increasing the Pipeline of Women to Property & Construction : The Importance of School Based Engagement


Michaela Sheahan

Melbourne-based researcher, Michaela Sheahan, was awarded the 2014 NAWIC IWD Scholarship.  Her report which won her the award WalkTalkWork, was very insightful. Ms Sheahan’s research will investigate “Care, Connectivity, Collaboration: Urban design for interaction in hospital precincts – an international perspective.” The judges were impressed with the scope of Ms Sheahan’s research, which intends to examine how leading hospital precincts in the world are designing connections within and between institutions to enable collaboration, innovation and activity. 

View full report here 


Rana Abboud

Sydney-based architect Rana Abboud, was awarded the scholarship to investigate how architects can apply Augmented Reality to facilitate better design, construction and maintenance.
“The scholarship has allowed me to meet with cutting-edge researchers globally, and connect with industry professionals in Australia who share an interest in Augmented Reality. Through it, I have gained new contacts, new ideas, and new experiences that will feed back into my future work. The scholarship has increased my profile within my practice, and allowed me to pursue a research interest that would otherwise have proven difficult,” Rana says. 



Laila Mehrpour

Laila Mehrpour, Development Manager at Lend Lease, undertook research on the viability of high density urban planning for Sydney, and whether the ‘Copenhagenisation’ of Sydney was a feasible part of the city’s development future.

View full report here


Natalie Myatt

Regional Asset Manager at Stockland, Natalie Myatt aimed to provide the Australian construction industry with a set of guidelines to help implement social sustainability policies. The Challenge: Linking Social Sustainability and Financial Value


Melonie Bayl-Smith

Sydney architect Melonie Bayl-Smith investigated whether changes in foundational and continuing education in building technologies has resulted in distinct disparities between learning opportunities offered by architectural schools across Australia.

View full report here


Ruth Kestermann

Ruth Kestermann, Senior Consultant at ARUP, aimed to generate ideas on how the industry can improve both the physical and social sustainability of new affordable housing developments.  


Fiona Shewring

Painter and decorator Fiona Shewring travelled to the United States to conduct research into the avenues and support mechanisms for women to enter non-traditional trades. The Future's Rosie: Initiatives and Pathways for Tradeswomen in the United States of America - an Australian Perspective.


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The NAWIC IWD Scholarship

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