Tamika Smith is the founder and director of Top 100 Women, who’s made it her mission to build up women in the construction industry.
Top 100 Women supports women entering the industry, and gives them the support they need to build long and meaningful careers. Now people from the industry are flocking to Top 100 Women, to get the expertise and advice that can help them retain the women in their workforce.
“We know the retention rates are quite low for women in construction,” Tamkia says. “Hence why we’re getting approached by a number of educational providers and large scale companies who want the support for their women.”
Builders Academy Australia is proud to be partnered with Top 100 Women and be able to draw on the experience and expertise of someone like Tamika. When we spoke to Tamika recently, she shared how she got involved in building and construction, and how she’s helping to transform the future of our industry.
Building a career
Tamika has led a truly incredible career. After getting started in building and construction at the age of 19, working for Australia’s largest residential builder, Tamika has risen through the ranks to become one of the most influential people in the industry.
“I started like most women within the broader construction sector,” she says. “I began quite organically looking at opportunities to reach the goals that I wanted to obtain.”
Before long, Tamika had been named Australia’s number one consultant (the first woman to win the title) and was well renowned for her skills as a project and development manager. She moved up the ranks quickly, and eventually became a manager, then a director.
Tamika used this experience to launch her own company, TSR Property Solutions, in 2016. Within 12 months TSR had reached over $10 million in sales, before the company had done any marketing or even launched a website.
“I set out to start a business that would alleviate the heartache I was seeing in the knowledge being held by few, whilst consumers were crippling,” Tamkia has said of her reasons for founding TSR. “I developed a full-service solution to better facilitate an end to end process in residential development.”
Tamika would soon be awarded Young Business Woman of the Year before taking the same spirit of TSR, making it easier to access the construction for people who have traditionally been on the outer edges of the industry.
She founded Top 100 Women.
Building up other women
With Top 100 Women, Tamika wanted to show that women could not only be a part of building and construction, but that they could flourish and add real value to the industry.
“The Top 100 women was founded at the beginning 2018 and it was initially only founded to promote women in construction.”
Top 100 Women works to determine at risk groups and maximise the benefit of the support they provide.
“We know that women over 55 are the largest in the social housing waitlist and that’s our grandmothers.”
“If we’re to influence those statistics in some way shape or form that begins with education and that begins with giving these women the skills that they currently don’t have.”
Top 100 Women aims to support women directly with early intervention programs for at-risk groups.
“The Top 100 Girls initiative is a program there recently rolling out and it’s actually targeted at girls in social housing.”
Tamika says that one of their greatest focuses now is on helping women who have entered building and construction get more out of it.
“Now we know the retention rates are quite low for women in construction which indicates there isn’t a lot of support now.”
It’s important to encourage women to remain in the construction industry so that women can make the most out of their skills and training, and so that industry isn’t losing workers — with prized skills, experience and perspectives — to other industries.
Many organisations recognise the importance of retaining the women workers who they’ve invested in, and are approaching Top 100 Women for help.
“Hence why we’re getting approached from a number of educational providers and large scale companies who want the support for their women,” Tamika says.
Making a difference together
Women make up just three per cent of the building and construction workforce.
But people throughout the trades are starting to recognise the value of including people from different walks of life, from different backgrounds and who have different experiences.
“Women bring their own set of attributes to the construction industry.”
“Women are typically great at communicating,” Tamkia says, adding that they’re also, “quite good at being able to nurture things to where they need to go.”
Tamika believes in working with industry to bring about change.
“We’re promoting those organisations who are backing women from their own communities.”
“We also have the Prosperity Industry Education Providers where universities and RTOs are contacting us to be able to support the women that they’re training from the very beginning.”
That’s why Builders Academy Australia has partnered with Top 100 Women, to be able to create positive change, as an education provider that is helping to forge the future of the construction industry.
Tamika is working hard to get more organisations on board with this important initiative.
“Like Builders Academy Australia, other organizations can connect with the Top 100 Women as a preferred industry employer which will allow the women to have access to the broader community.”
The other important part is letting women know where to turn to get support so that they can start fulfilling, exciting and rewarding careers in the trades.
“If you want to get involved in the building and construction industry as a female, Builders Academy, Top 100 Women, we can help you get to where you want to go.”
Are you inspired by Tamika’s story and want to find out how building and construction courses can get you started in a new career in Building and Construction? Call us at 1300 LEGEND (1300 534 363) or request a callback today.