Book Review: Rules of the Game by Teagan Dowler
Thu 29 September 2016
Teagan Dowler is at the forefront of diversity, inclusion and leadership, and has foundedThe Blue Collared Woman as a vehicle to encourage discussion and drive change in the construction, mining and related industries.
Teagan has written Rules of the Game: Women in the Masculine Industries to share the experiences of herself and over 50 other women working in the mining and construction industries. The insights span recruitment through to working on sites, and offer anecdotal comments on real experiences encountered by women as they navigate the industry.
Teagan finishes her book by noting that its purpose is to connect women across these industries. In this respect, I wanted to share two positive messages I took from reading this book. The first is the importance of acknowledging diversity and the way that this can be approached in the construction industry, and secondly the importance of mentoring.
As Co-Chairs of the Society of Construction Law's Diversity Committee, Kara Vague and I have been looking at ways that professional associations can contribute to promoting and achieving diversity in the construction industry. For many of our members, diversity might mean that our events and speakers represent the range of gender, age, professions, and cultures within the industry.
One of the quotes from Teagan's book that struck me most in this regard was:
"Maybe if we really embraced diversity as more than just gender, and included diversity of thought, behaviour and perspective, we would created better outcomes for employees and organisations."
Teagan also writes about the important role that mentoring and sponsorship can have for professionals, particularly women:
"Research suggests that women obtain more promotions by using mentors from formal programs compared to those women who found mentors of their own."
The Society of Construction Law has both a national mentoring program within Australia run by careers consultant, Helen Green, and is also piloting an international mentoring program with the Society of Construction Law UK (SCL Astra - Young Members). We hope that these programs allow more construction professionals to connect and experience collegiality in the construction industry. As the only inter-profession and national program of this type in the industry, the Society's program is well placed to connect lawyers and construction professionals alike.