Hilti has come a long way from its modest beginnings as a small family business in the principality of Liechtenstein, evolving into a global workforce of over 22,000 people. The company’s corporate identity has always revolved around the values of courage, commitment, teamwork and integrity. Hilti was recently awarded the prestigious Hewitt Best Employer accreditation for the fifth consecutive year – the only company in Australia to achieve this unique feat.

Hilti employs several women in various roles; however, as a leading company servicing the construction sector, it recognises the unique and important responsibility it can fulfil in attracting more women to the industry. It’s a proven fact that companies with female board representatives consistently outperform those with no female representation, while more diverse workforces embrace a broader range of views, opinions and ways of thinking. But a number of issues have prevented women from entering the construction industry including a lack of female role models, poor networking opportunities and a highly masculinised work culture.

Thanks to the efforts of companies such as Hilti and groups such as the National Association for Women in Construction (NAWIC), these outdated misconceptions have given way to greater acceptance of the construction industry as a legitimate career option for ambitious women. In leadership construction roles, for example, the number of women directors of ASX200 companies has almost doubled in nine years to 15.6 per cent.

NAWIC Director and Principal of Bicknell Law & Consulting, Jennifer Bicknell says the construction industry provides amazing opportunities to build a lifelong career. Women can build, design, develop or supply or work in areas such as engineering, marketing, planning, legal, accounting or HR.

At Hilti, for instance, 20 per cent of the 320-strong workforce in Australia is female while 40 per cent of the executive team is female. Some of the perks of working at Hilti include excellent training, dedication to excellence, clear career paths, access to leadership roles, attractive packages, a booming industry and a highly-skilled and enthusiastic workforce, allowing staff – both male and female – to flourish. As a build-from-within company, Hilti also strives to develop 80 per cent of its talent internally.

Kellie Warta, Talent Acquisition Manager at Hilti explains that their selection process is designed to assess a candidate’s potential to progress and grow beyond the initial role they are appointed to; therefore, the attributes they seek in candidates include quick learning agility, passion about working in a team, strong work commitment and ambition to outperform. 

Julieanna Cairns, a Key Account Manager at Hilti Australia who has worked at the company for almost nine years, informs women who are thinking of applying to Hilti that the opportunities are endless. She explains that working in construction as a female is no different to working as a female in any other job.

Ipsa Rivas, an engineer from Venezuela, has worked at Hilti Australia for over three years. She cites a great work-life balance, excellent training and clear career progression as fundamental to her career at Hilti. As a mother, Rivas feels Hilti is also a very flexible place to work, allowing her to balance her professional responsibilities with her personal needs.