Pictured: Attendees at the Meridian Energy Girls with Hi-Vis® event in Wellington
Wellington 3 July 2018: More than 350 women throughout the country took the opportunity to experience the Infrastructure Industry ‘hands on’ in June.
The annual Girls with Hi-Vis® (GWHV) initiative saw companies in the Civil, Energy, Telecommunication and 3Waters industries open their doors for a day, specifically to women interested in knowing more about what they do and the career opportunities available. GWHV is organised by Connexis, the Industry Training Organisations (ITO’s) for the Infrastructure sector.
Connexis Chief Executive Peter Benfell says, “It’s been fantastic to see the Industry embrace this event. Throughout the month we’ve had over 350 women experience a taste of the Infrastructure Industries which is a huge achievement. I would like to thank every company involved, and all the individual people that helped spread the word about this initiative.”
He adds that rewarding trade and technical careers for women are there for the taking within the infrastructure sector, the problem is women don’t always know about them.
Addressing this recruitment challenge is a driving factor behind GWHV. Females only account for about 4% of employees in the Infrastructure Industries in general – an incredibly low figure given females make up 50% of the population, meaning that females are well under represented in the industry.
The feedback from the partners who hosted GWHV open days throughout the country has been very positive.
The team at Meridian were delighted to host a group of young women to West Wind farm in Wellington as part of the GWHV programme. Guy Waipara, General Manager Generation and Natural Resources, says the group learned about wind energy and entered a turbine to better understand how they work.
“All those attending the day found it fun and informative. Meridian is proud to be involved with Girls with Hi-Vis®, a great initiative giving young women the information and tools to pursue a career that is outside of traditional gender roles.”
Fulton Hogan Canterbury Training Manager Andrea Wilson adds, “We wanted to open their eyes to the possibilities and help them understand that their career pathway will be supported with training, that they can earn while they learn with Fulton Hogan and the opportunities for advancement are not limited.
GWHV had the biggest involvement from Industry partners this year and this number is expected to increase for 2019.
It included strong involvement from the civil sector this year and other ITO’s, as well as the Minister of Women and NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction). The Otago mayor also got right behind GWHV attending a local Contact Energy event.
“Girls with Hi-Vis® is a great initiative aimed at encouraging women to work in the Infrastructure Industry. It’s a sector with plenty of job opportunities and a great career path for women – they just need to realise it exists”
Frances Hague, Connexis Chair
See www.connexis.org.nz/gwhv for more details