Breaking gender stereotypes in construction

February 08, 2022
  • Project
  • Diversity and inclusion
Bianca Nicholls is completing her apprenticeship in civil construction with CPB Contractors while working on the iconic Sydney Metro City & Southwest project with Systems Connect, a joint venture between CPB Contractors and UGL Limited.

Growing up in a household influenced by her Pa working as a 'sparkie' on the railways and her father and four brothers encouraging her to 'fix things' around the home, it was no surprise that Bianca would find a career working with her hands.

While completing high school, she combined her secondary education with a School Based Apprenticeship Traineeship (SBAT), which saw her studying and working part-time on the Northern Connection of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project Line-wide Works.
Completion of her traineeship provided a pathway to taking up an apprenticeship in civil construction. Bianca says her work on the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project has resulted in her gaining invaluable on-the-job experience. “The fact that I’m a female makes no difference," she says.
"The moment I stepped on-site, I was included, accepted and treated as an equal – I felt 'at home.' Because of this, I’ve been able to learn, grow and become far more independent," Bianca says.

"Some of my friends told me I should pursue a different career path, but I love working on the railway, and I love proving those people wrong by getting ahead. I would like to become a leading hand and then a supervisor one day."
"I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, and what's more, I’m pleased that I have the opportunity to build my career working on Australia's biggest public transport project," she said.
Nicholls is supportive of the government and industry initiatives to get females into the trades early. Speaking from firsthand experience, Bianca says “being on the job is so important. The more hands-on experience you get, the more you know, and the more confident you become.”
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