On International Women’s Day, the board of Australia’s major building and construction association has revealed that it has appointed its first ever female Chief Executive Officer.

Master Builders Australia announced the appointment of Denita Wawn to the position of National CEO on 8 March, making her the first non-male CEO in its 127-year history.

In announcing Wawn’s appointment, the National President of Master Builders, Dan Perkins said her qualities, skills and experience as a highly-accomplished industry leader and advocate saw her emerge as successful from a pool of candidates.

Wawn is the former CEO of the Brewers Association of Australia and New Zealand and has spearheded advocacy and industrial relations campaigns for the National Farmers Federation (NFF) and the Australian Hotels Association (AHA).

She has also spent the past 12 months as General Manager Operations at Master Builders.

The Master Builders Australia website shows that its Board of Directors are all men. 

In 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that 11.7 per cent of the construction industry workforce are women. 

The Australian Institute of Architects appointed its first female CEO in 2016.