Page 1026 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2023
Lendlease is a global construction investments and development company who employ construction workers across the country. Our ACT regional business unit told me that in 2019 I was the first female construction worker to take parental leave. I was well supported from the beginning of my leave and received 18 weeks’ paid parental leave from Lendlease. I returned after 12 months to an agreed part-time arrangement three days per week.
I have also been well supported since, being a part-time construction worker during this time with professional development and flexibility of work hours. Since beginning with Lendlease in 2017, there has been a commitment to employ women and create a diverse workplace. I have noticed more women being employed in Lendlease but also more broadly in the industry, and this is especially true at the current CIT Woden project.
I have taken parental leave twice now. With two young children, and my husband owning a small business, the demands of juggling this is complex. I was nervous recently, having just returned to work from maternity leave, of having to take time off after sick children, but my managers could not have been more supportive.
Up until working in this industry, I have worked in sectors that are traditionally female-dominated. I have nursing and physiotherapy degrees and worked in the public service for five years. All sectors I have worked in have had their challenges. However, working as a construction worker with Lendlease has been the most enjoyable and balanced to date. I feel respected and listened to by my male colleagues and have never felt I cannot assert myself.
Those are Jess’s words and that is her experience. As we have spoken about in the most recent sitting, International Women’s Day and the principles of upholding women’s achievements, recognising challenges and maintaining a greater focus on women’s rights and equality in this place are very important. Part of what makes Jess’s story so important to these principles is that it touches on every single one of them. Particularly in a workforce that has been so heavily male-dominated for so long where women have not got a look-in, it is encouraging to see how the sector is changing to support women and bring more women into more diverse fields, allowing them to be not only workers but also mothers.
I am incredibly grateful to Jess for finding time in her extraordinarily busy schedule to share her story with me and the community. I wish her and her family the best, moving forward.
MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health, Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (5.50): Mr Deputy Speaker, I am once again asking for your patience for a few moments so that I can talk about sports in my electorate of Murrumbidgee.
In particular, I want to talk about the great work being done by Invictus Australia.
I had the joy of joining them at Stromlo Forest Park on a rainy Saturday afternoon last