The civil construction industry has for many years been an almost exclusively male workforce. The number of women employed within the  sector still remains a small percentage of the total workforce, with men still dominating traditional civil construction roles. However, in recent years, the industry has seen an increase of females interested in civil construction roles.

The civil industry is a unique one; over 70% of revenue flows from government, making it very strict, compliant and procedure focused. Because governments are careful with their money, performance and efficiency is high in the minds of employers,. When we look at the nature of the work, the reality is there is no reason a female cannot perform effectively in a civil construction role.

There's a growing demand for site based, and office based civil roles, ranging from Engineers, Project Managers and HR roles to Site Hands, Machine Operators and Site Supervisors. With this demand, there is also a need for diversifying civil roles, and a need to support the women already working within the industry.

So why is the percentage of women in civil so low?

Because we, as an industry, have done a terrible job of communicating how rewarding this industry is to work in and, on the whole, we have not considered well enough the effects on females of working in a male dominated space. Rather, the industry has been too focused on getting the job done.

CCF NSW has been working with industry leaders to change this.

The Chief Executive of CCF NSW David Castledine stated that "It is completely wrong on so many levels that we have so few females in our industry. Putting aside the equality and ethical issues for a moment, the industry is simply missing out; it is not smart business.
To right this imbalance we need to act to change our language, our imagery, and our actions. It is up to us in the industry to get up and go to women, parents and care givers and say; 'we offer an immensely rewarding career; please consider us'.
It is up to us to show what we in the industry already know; that this is a great industry, and a very welcoming place".

In June 2017 CCF NSW launched the CCF NSW Women in Civil Program. The Program has one goal which is:

To encourage more Women to Join and Remain in the civil industry.

The Elements

The CCF NSW Women in Civil Program aims to do that, and it pulls together the following elements:

  • A structured 10 month Mentoring Program (2021 will be our fourth year!)
  • Facilitation of monthly networking forums through our Virtual Community initiative (a very regional NSW focus) to which guest speakers are invited.
  • Identification and heralding of female ‘champions’, including the penultimate award of our annual Women in Civil Excellence Award. (This has actually been running since 2012)
  • The launch of our website which explains the roles in the industry and has a very deliberate focus on encouraging females to join the industry.
  • Training and educating supervisors about managing a diverse workforce through our partner the Institute of Civil Infrastructure.
  • Providing a package of tools and advice for employers to recruit and retain more females (some employers in the industry have little experience working with females in the operational side of the business).
  • Our Employers for Women in Civil initiative, which asks employers to publicly commit to supporting women in their businesses with CCF NSW. If your business is interested in becoming a Champion, please get in contact with us.


The inaugural Mentoring Program was opened by the New South Wales Minister for Women, the Hon. Tanya Davies MP NSW Minister, and the CEO of Roads and Maritime Service, Ken Kanofski.
We are confident that, by creating a spark, the winds of change will move through the civil industry. We are already seeing amazing step-ups…


Women in Civil Chair
- Kim Liddell

Owner & Director of Non Destructive Excavations Australia

"The CCF NSW Women in Civil program excites me, I believe it will act as a launch pad to a positive, lasting impact in our industry. Additionally,  I find the opportunity to ‘give back’ with organisations such as CCF and the Women in Civil program truly rewarding."

Kim Liddell

Gladys Woods

Co-Owner and Director of Haslin Constructions

"The Women in Civil Program is a fantastic initiative which will bring great benefits to the industry.  All workplaces are improved by greater diversity."

Gladys Woods

Asha Russell

Managing Director of Sage Civil

"The Women in Civil Program changes lives and continue to assist this great industry evolve. There is no better feeling then being able to see a completed project and say to your kids 'I built that'. If you can see it, you can be it."



CCF NSW is proud to provide ongoing support and care to females in the industry, and are dedicated to this initiative. We are not stopping, and have some exciting announcements soon to come as we continue our drive;

To encourage more Women to Join and Remain in the civil industry.


Our 2021/22 Program is proudly sponsored by:

Work Options