With the first successful event held last night, North Construction & Building is proud to be sponsoring The Exchange’s Women in Construction event series. The initiative is one close to this medium-sized commercial builder’s heart as they work hard to promote their industry and the career opportunities, for all, available within it.
“As a male dominated industry, there is a perception also that construction is a male-led industry… An industry that has been challenged and found wanting in dealing with long work hours, project demands and sexism,” expressed Matthew Cook, North Managing Director. “To engage more women in the industry that fundamental perception needs to change and the industry can do more to recognise training, support and opportunities for women in construction.”
North is making in-roads in transforming the construction industry by doing business differently. A genuinely value-based business, combined with a corporate commitment to the personal and professional development of its people, North has created an environment within the company that is respectful, inclusive and understanding of work-family balance – something that is not only integrally linked to employee health and well-being but also to allowing working mothers to participate in the workforce.
“I’ve been with North since 2011 and, in that time, I’ve worked hard to advance diversity not only in our business but in the industry as a whole,” remarked Nicole Redmond, North Corporate Services Manager and recognised Women in Building award winner at the 2017 Newcastle MBA Awards. “In my efforts to expand our work placement, apprenticeship and cadetship programs over the years, targeting women and girls has been a focus. We are beginning to do more in high schools to trigger interest in the construction industry early and work to change out-dated perceptions held by parents, career advisors and other key influencers.”
Redmond went on to say, “Currently North has over 90 full time staff with 15% being women and, of them, 50% are working in an official flexible-schedule arrangement. Diversity, inclusion and flexibility are priorities for our business and make up integral components of our long term corporate strategy. I’m proud of our efforts thus far and looking forward to the future growth of our business.”
Founded in 1987, North is the largest locally owned and operated commercial construction business on the Central Coast. Over the past 30 years they have grown to become one of the most trusted builders throughout the Central Coast, Hunter Valley and Newcastle regions.
“As a regional builder, our solid reputation and delivery of commercial projects continues to grow. For a long time we have had clients gauge our interest in working further afield and for us, the timing is right now,” explained Cook. He went on to say, “I’m originally from the Central West and still have many connections and family based in Dubbo and surrounds. I completed high school at St Johns College Dubbo in 1993 before working some time locally at Rawson Homes and am, personally, very excited about the opportunities to work out this way again.”