Rebecca De Cicco, Founder and Director or Digital Node, talks to Women in Construction UK Magazine about her work through Women in BIM and the importance of female empowerment in the construction industry.
I have been a passionate advocate for Women in Construction for as long as I can remember and although I have seen many positive changes in this space, there is still a long way to go when it comes to equal conditions for different genders and groups.
This is why Women in BIM was so important to me. I was rapidly developing in my career and was passionate about building, construction and technology but also about ensuring there were more productive ways to produce information all consistently and all in line with a common process. To me, building information modelling (BIM) was an evolution of this and I found that working in the BIM space provided me to indulge mu love for construction, which is fuelled by Technology and driven by productivity.
For me, found the Women in BIM initiative was a necessity to address not only the low representation of Women in leadership and construction generally but to focus on the lower numbers of women in the BIM space which I found quite surprisingly to be a global problem. When the group was established, it was nothing more than a LinkedIn community, but six years later we have a strong global presence, female leaders all over the world promote our cause and supporting organizations sponsor us and allowing us to grow.
As a female leader in the BIM space myself, I wanted to make sure we addressed three key areas – firstly to support and encourage young women to enter the industry (especially BIM related careers to address the low representation of women but also the skills shortages in BIM), secondly to target the support mechanism, too many women are not supported in middle management in their roles, and finally to empower women in leadership for them to act as role models.
This was all very important and although with the core team now operating out of London, we very much work all the way across the globe, female leadership, young women and BIM related roles are becoming crucial in the way of extending and growing our industry. However there is still an issue with equal pay and equal conditions, flexible working and other areas of the construction industry which prove a barrier to women, particularly to those women who chose to grow a family. Sadly this is not adequately addressed and we are seeing more and more women leave industry.
As an advocate for female leaders, diversity and equality the future for Women in BIM is promising. I hope to see more women join the group and support the cause as we’re seeing some great momentum for women in industry at present and hopefully this will continue to develop and support diversity in an industry which so desperately requires it.