Hacia Atherton, CPA, is on a mission to empower women in trades and see more women in the workforce with meaningful economic opportunities and skills.
She comes from a family of change makers with the Atherton family having a long history with skilled trades in Australia that dates back to before federation. She established Empowered Women In Trades (EWIT) to inspire women to see trades as a viable career option and to support industry and society to shift their culture to create a supportive environment for these women to thrive.
Empowered Women in Trades (EWIT) is a not-for-profit organisation established to support educational institutions and workplaces to encourage women to see trades as a viable career path. In collaboration with educational institutions and industry leaders, we aim to increase women’s role in learning the trade skills required for people and industry to thrive. In order to rebuild Australia’s trades-based sectors and to enhance our communities and businesses, EWIT is there for women in the workforce to learn the skills to thrive in these industries. We will support women to enter trades and excel into leadership positions across trades industries. While supporting industry to ensure that workplaces have the resources to enhance the economic development of the sector.
I have now read two fantastic research papers from RMIT regarding female participation within trade based industries and see RMIT as a thought leader in this space. I feel it is essential that there is a strong partnership between industry and academia so we can collaborate and make meaningful change in this area.
Two of the biggest issues I hear women facing are of those connected to conscious and unconscious gender bias and the ongoing issues connected to this. The second is women's own self-doubt in their abilities to succeed in a male dominated environment, however, once they take that first courageous step to entering it is amazing to see the journey these women go on to find their self-confidence.
Have the courage to step outside your comfort zone and give it a go! Don’t let fear get in the way of having access to a fun and financially lucrative career path.
We have two flag ship programs we are working on:
This year’s winner of the inaugural EWIT Award is Sheniz Ahmet who was recognised a RMIT PCPM’s Virtual Awards Presentation, 11th November 2021. Sheniz will receive a $500 prize for her research titled ‘An Exploration of how some of the workplace practices in the construction industry can be improved to promote women careers advancement.’
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.