A+W-NZ at Ak Build Expo 2016

21 November 2016

On Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 November 2016, A+W-NZ were set up in one of the stalls at the Auckland Build Expo 2016, held at the ASB Showgrounds in Ellerslie, Auckland. We wanted to connect directly with the building industry, to ensure that they are aware how the gender balance in construction is changing - the news that 50% of architecture students throughout the country are female was surprising to some.  We were supporting NAWIC who were also there, and their message that women are involved in contracting, and to get used to their presence on the site.

A small team from A+W-NZ rotated over the two-day period, and all reported non-stop interesting conversations with a range of industry suppliers, recruiters, tradespeople, engineers, contractors, architects, students, and architectural graduates.

We ran a short workshop on Thursday 17 Nov at 11am, aimed at opening the discussion on Equity in the workplace. Participants were asked "What makes your workplace  a great place to spend your days?'"

Rather than focus on the problems we face in our working lives, emphasis instead was placed on what works well for people. We then went on to discuss how to make these positive aspects even better, and whether they are available to all.  We wanted to find out what makes workplaces a fair, enjoyable and productive environment to work in.

Results fell into the main categories of People / Place / Projects / Profit (the 4 P's), and we discussed how to overcome any 'unconscious bias' which may exist to ensure the healthy work culture identified by some could be followed by others. We strongly believe that change is made through great leadership, and architectural practices in NZ can learn from each other to ensure policy is in place to keep their workplace fair - and a great place to be.

Raffled jars of chocolates enticed some to complete our first survey in this area, and we will be putting results and its revised 'second iteration' online soon.


A+W-NZ Team;

Siran Li, Anner Chong, Sukshma Paranjpe and Lynda Simmons.