Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Sam Helps Build New Skills; Women Keen to Pick Up a Hammer and Saw

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Sam Helps Build New Skills; Women Keen to Pick Up a Hammer and Saw

Article excerpt

THE building and construction industry is one of the Sunshine Coast's biggest employers and yet it still conjures up thoughts of shirtless men hammering up dry wall.

Thankfully, the stereotypes attached to this male-dominated industry are slowly fading away - most likely due to the endless job opportunities which appeal to both men and women.

The industry boasts career paths in everything from plumbing, painting, engineering, drafting and administration.

With this reality, and the added influence of women such as Sam Sheppard, the building industry could soon be matched man for woman.

Sam is the founder and director of the Buildmore Group, a local firm which specialises in designing and constructing boutique housing.

It is through her business that Sam discovered a need for more female builders and the opportunities available.

"There are massive skill shortages and enormous opportunities that I really don't think a lot of women are fully aware of. There are false perceptions that women do it tough in the industry and that is not necessarily the case.

"It is becoming more socially recognised now that women are attaining positions of influence and power within the industry.

"It is interesting to note that they do earn the respect of their peers."

Sam has been a licensed builder for seven years and has discovered the construction industry creates a wide world of possibility.

She hopes to share this possibility and encourage other women to pick up a hammer.

Her day-to-day work revolves around planning, facilitating and coordinating projects, meetings and staff. She also finds time to mentor teenagers who are looking at breaking into the building and construction industry.

"Through networking and word of mouth I have been approached by various industry bodies to contribute to mentoring programs that they are running or to speak to students or apprentices about the industry, especially opportunities for women," Sam said. …

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