127-year-old organisation announces first female CEO

by John Hilton08 Mar 2017
Master Builders Australia has marked International Women's Day by announcing Denita Wawn as its new CEO.

Wawn will be Master Builders’ first female CEO in its 127 year history to represent the $200 billion building and construction industry.

Dawn will be the voice for 32,000 employees encompassing a workforce which is just 10% female.

"I would love to think in 10 years if we can get it up to at least 25% that would be fantastic," Dawn told AAP.

"We hope with my appointment that people can see there's a cultural shift in the industry and women are welcomed and embraced in the industry."

Wawn said having more women workers in relatively highly-paid building and construction jobs could help narrow the general 16% pay gap between men and women employees in Australia.

"I think if we doubled the number of women in the industry we would see higher pay rates simply because you are in an industry that has higher pay," she said.

"I think that it's important when working in male-dominated areas that you work hard, you call a spade a spade but equally you be true to yourself.”

Dan Perkins, The National President of Master Builders, added “Denita’s qualities, skills and experience as a highly accomplished industry leader and advocate saw her emerge as the successful candidate from the comprehensive recruitment process undertaken by the Board.

“The Board is confident that Mrs Wawn’s leadership will see the implementation of its vision for Master Builders as a modern, credible and influential national voice for its more than 32,000 members.”

Perkins added that Wawn has “impeccable credentials for success” including her experience spearheading game changing advocacy and industrial relations campaigns at the National Farmers Federation (NFF), and the Australian Hotels Association (AHA).

“The Board is excited by Mrs Wawn’s leadership, her strong grasp of the factors which drive success in industry associations, and her passionate commitment for standing up for the interests of members,” Perkins said.



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