Skilling women for opportunities in the construction industry is billed to entrench professionalism and competitiveness in the built environment.
These are the sentiments echoed by the over 300 women who recently participated in the inaugural Women Fundis in Construction Conference (WFICC) set up by women artisan trainer Build Her, in conjunction with the county governments of Kisii, Nairobi and Kisumu.
Nairobi County Deputy Governor James Muchiri said last Friday the initiative would play a big part in developing women who are adept at working and succeeding in the construction sector.
"It is still a concern that the participation of women in construction - both locally and globally is still low compared to men. And this is what platforms such as Women Fundis seek to properly address," he said.
He said the county was in the process of setting up a Sh50 million revolving fund targeting women in the construction sector in Nairobi. "While aiming to reach more women, we seek to ensure that the fund operates more sustainably," said the deputy governor.
Conference organiser Tatu Gatere noted that the training and WFICC platform aims at connecting vulnerable women to high-value employment opportunities in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
"Build Her allows women to build financial stability to fight poverty through access to high-paying jobs," she said.
National Construction Authority (NCA) Manager for Training and Capacity Building Juliet Kabere said the initiative plays a big part in entrenching gender inclusivity agenda in the built environment.
"The NCA mission underscores the urgent need for strategic interventions and partnerships to ensure that this agenda is accomplished. We cannot do it alone. We need collaborations with like-minded individuals and organisations," said Ms Kabere.
Build Her board member and President for Women in Real Estate Robyn Emerson called upon women to position themselves for more competitive and well-paying roles in the construction sector.
"And doing their work with a high degree of excellence makes women better placed to move to the next level in their career paths," she said.