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Women in Construction: International Women’s Day Profiles


The Master Builders, Women in Construction group was founded in 2018 with the aim of creating avenues for female MBA members to connect with other women working in similar roles or facing similar challenges within their construction-based businesses. The Women in Construction group provides network opportunities and facilitates greater inclusion of women in the building and construction industry. The WIC group provides information and advice to support women in their roles, recognise them for their achievements and to help them achieve personal and business success through a range of learning sessions and events.

The MBA looks at four of the key women behind MBA’s 2021 International Women’s Day celebrations.

Emily Duggan, Australian Race Car Driver

Emily Duggan is one of the guest speakers at the 2021 MBA’s International Women’s Day Luncheon.  She has successfully navigated her path in a highly male-dominated sport. In March 2016, Emily made history as the first female driver to compete in the Super3 V8 Touring Car Series, the third tier of national V8 Supercar competition and in 2019, she was appointed as an ambassador for Dare to be Different, an international organisation committed to inspiring, connecting and showcasing female talent in the motorsport industry.


Jo Farrell, General Manager – ACT, Kane Constructions

Throughout her career, Jo has challenged the inclusivity, respect, treatment and opportunities women have been afforded in the male-dominated construction and building industry. When she began her career in construction, Jo tried to get an apprenticeship and was met with a string of rejections. Not because of her skills, but because of her gender. She is now actively involved in changing perceptions, workplace culture, and stereotyping, in an aim to increase female representation from less than 2% in trade and skilled roles. Jo recently launched Build Like a Girl, which aims to see a higher percentage of female employment in the construction sector and to mentor women in the construction sector and foster industry connections.


Emily Shoemark, Senior Associate at Snedden Hall & Gallop

Emily is one of the founding partners behind the Women in Construction program, and she is involved in the planning of WIC events. Emily is also a member of the MBA Professional Sector and she has presented member workshops on the Personal Property Securities Register. Emily has established herself as a clear leader in a predominately male dominated industry, and she encourages other women in male dominated fields to put themselves forward.

Emily recently received a Judges Commendation for the Professional of the Year category for the 2020 Master Builders ACT and Asset Construction Hire Excellence Awards.


Sarah Flanagan, Account Manager at Harvey Norman Commercial

Sarah is the Account Manager at Harvey Norman Commercial, and one of the founding partners behind the Women Working in Construction program. Sarah champions women in the construction industry, and she is a key contributor to the planning of Women in Construction events.

Sarah is also one of the Excellence Awards judges, she has generously donated her time to help judge several award categories.  She is a vocal advocate for women rising to the top of male dominated fields.


International Women’s Day Luncheon 

The next Women in Construction event will be an International Women’s Luncheon held on 16 March 2021 12- 2pm. The ticket price includes exquisite canapes and beverages followed by an outstanding lunch, created with the finest local produce.

The event will feature guest speakers Australian Racing legend, Emily Duggan, and Build Like a Girl founder and General Manager at Kane Constructions, Jo Farrell.