15 March 2021
In conjunction with this year's International Women'sDay, AWiCS' OnlineSeries theme for the month of March was "Overcoming Challenges, Discovering Opportunities for Women in the Built Environment Industry". The event attracted about 60 participants, of which 70% were females and 30%were males.
We were honoured to have Minster of State (MOS), Ministry for Education and Ministry for Family and Social Development, Ms Sun Xueling, grace our event and deliver the opening address. Being the first Minister to grace an AWiCS event since the founding of AWiCS oneand a half years ago, Ms Sun made the occasion a meaningful and historical one for AWiCS as well.
MOS Ms Sun acknowledged that Singaporean women have come a long way and have, without a doubt, made tremendous progressover the years with the support of the societyand supportive partners. MOS Ms Sun assured that the Government will continue in its efforts at ensuringequal opportunities for all and encourage the engendering of a conducive workplace environment to support women in their roles, with her Ministry leading by example. One such initiative by the BCA and also promoted by the Government is the flexibleworkplace arrangement which faced only lukewarm industry acceptance for a long time until recently when it became an accepted norm overnight as working-from-home became necessary due to pandemiccontrol measures.
MOS Ms Sun reported that women make up 29% of the resident workforceof the construction industry(vs 10 - 25% that of the semi-conductor sector), and this is encouraging, given peculiar challenges that need to be overcome in a traditionally male-dominated industry. Movingforward, the Government will work even more closelywith different stakeholders and individuals to create and implement solutions to further the growth and development of women in Singapore.
Following MOS Ms Sun's opening address, participants engaged in a Mentimeter word cloud activity. The top 3 responses to the question, "What are some of the challenges faced by women in the Built Environment Industry?" were: (1) Work Life Balance (2) Subjected to Stereotypes (3) Male-dominated Industry. Participants then discussed.