POSTPONED - MSD at HOME: Melbourne Speaks :: Valerie Francis

Valerie Francis

Online - ABP Zoom Webinar

  • MSD at HOME


More than “just add women and stir”: reflections and current work on women in construction

Construction is one of the largest industries globally and is responsible for an impressive array of achievements. Still, it continues to have one of the most male-dominated workforces. As well as presenting data on women’s workforce participation, this presentation will demonstrate that while much has changed, we still have far to go. The solution of just adding more women is simply not enough. This lecture begins with examining a World War II infrastructure project and finishes in a post co-vid world. Research in the intervening years will be presented along with empirical evidence of the two shifts needed for women to be included in the industry. This work also establishes that not all women experience the industry in the same manner. For professional women, research has finally moved from merely identifying barriers and is now delving deeper. However, for women in the construction trades change has been slower, and it raises the question, can we ever add enough women construction workers? New research, being undertaken on behalf of the Victorian Trades Hall Council, will be presented. This work will help our understanding of women in traditionally male-dominated trades. I will then conclude with a look to the future and the work still to be tackled.

Professor Valerie Francis is the Chair in Construction within the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. Before joining academia, she worked as a civil engineer and project manager within the private sector. She has a Master’s degree in Project Management and a Ph.D. Valerie joined the University of Melbourne in 2000 and finds the mix of education and research incredibly exciting. Valerie’s research has investigated issues affecting construction productivity and involving construction innovation. Her work typically focuses on the construction workforce from an individual and organisational perspective. Her research on work-life balance and gender equity holds a particular interest. She is a long-time advocate of women in non-traditional careers and is recognised nationally and internationally for her research and service to women in construction and engineering. Her research on professional women’s career progression was the most extensive study of its nature worldwide and developed a career typology for professional women. She is currently working with the Victorian State Government on strategies to encourage more women into the construction trades and with the Victorian Trades Hall Council researching strategies to support women in non-traditional trades.

Presentation and Q&A

Date: Thursday 5 November 2020
Time: 18:00 - 19:30 AEDT* Melbourne (UTC +11)
Venue: Online - ABP Zoom Webinar
Event link: Once you have registered for the event, the event link will be sent to you via your Eventbrite confirmation email and reminder emails.

* Jakarta: Thursday 5 November 2020, 14:00 - 15:30; WIB
* Singapore: Thursday 5 November 2020, 15:00 - 16:30; SGT
* Dubai: Thursday 5 November 2020, 11:00 - 12:30; GST
* London: Thursday 5 November 2020, 07:00 - 08:30; BST
* New York: Thursday 5 November 2020, 02:00 - 03:30; EDT
* Los Angeles: Wednesday 4 November 2020, 23:00 - 24:30; PDT

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