Cadence & Co Southern Highlands’ (formerly August Developments) second year apprentice carpenter, Jessica Gardiner, won the Women in Construction Award at the MBA, Southern Regions Building Awards on Saturday night.
The annual awards recognise tradespeople from across the Southern Highlands, Illawarra, South Coast, Far South Coast and Snowy Mountains.
As the only female carpenter in the Highlands, Jessica said the work came with its challenges in the beginning.
“There’s one handywoman but I’m the only female carpenter. The only other girls in the industry are in the office.” she said.
“The majority of people have been amazing and so helpful. They treat me equally and I don’t get any special praises for being female.”
The 21-year-old carpenter was nominated by her boss and Cadence & Co Southern Highlands’ Managing Director, Joe Proud.
Mr Proud encourages other local businesses to give prospective female apprentices a chance.”That cardboard cut-out of the stereotypical tradesman is changing. You’ve got to be able to embrace change and accept the industry is changing,” he said.
“It’s like anything in business, you’ve got to be prepared to think about opportunities. When my clients come to site, they love seeing a woman because they see it as a point of difference.”
The Southern Regions Building Awards is the region’s premier industry night of nights.
The aim of the event is to showcase craftsmanship, expertise and excellence while contributing to the regional building industry.