Work that's never done

The TV show "Family Feud" might say cooking, cleaning and doing the dishes are "women's work", but women in Canberra's highly-competitive and fast-paced construction industry know differently.

Many Canberra women are working on challenging and complex projects that are changing the shape of our city.

So, what do they think is women's work?

As the area manager of GHD, Jo Metcalfe spends less time rolling up her sleeves to do the dishes than she does managing transformational projects such as pipelines and dams, sewage and water treatment plants, road duplications and some of the most significant buildings in the nation.

Jo freely admits that her projects are "not all easy, sexy or glamorous, but they are real and needed and have a lasting benefit for the region."

Architect Cassandra Keller's day isn't spent with the ironing. She's focused on designing schools and retirement living villages, heritage renovations and athletic track towers. For her, a woman's job is leading a team of local engineers and builders to create practical and inspiring buildings that leave a permanent legacy.

Developer Maria Efkarpidis spends her days juggling a hectic schedule alongside board responsibilities with the John Curtin Medical Research Foundation and ACT Climate Change Council.

For Claudia Tong, who oversees the work of 60 people as GM for Kone Elevators, a woman's job is "constant interaction with people", while quantity surveyor Fiona Doherty spends her days number crunching to ensure realistic budgets are set for multi-billion-dollar construction projects.

And, for property developer Louise Morris, a typical day is "a rich tapestry of problem solving, negotiation, facilitation, promotion and too much email."

While "Family Feud" perpetuates the old stereotypes, when you're focused on building a world-class capital city, a woman's work is never done!

Catherine Carter is ACT Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia

This piece was first published in City News.