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The past, the present and the future of Women in BIM


Dec 6, 2022
The past, the present and the future of Women in BIM
The past, the present and the future of Women in BIM

Rebecca De Cicco, global chair and founder of Women in BIM, discusses the group’s evolution over the past decade – and what lies ahead as it supports women across the globe to become part of a digital-first industry

Digital impacts everything we do – from the homes we live into the roads we travel on and the places in which we work. The construction industry is, and continues to, transform itself in ways unimaginable and we know that the digitisation of the built environment will help us achieve greater results from the way we design, build and operate – maintaining and repurposing the assets all around us.

The rise of new technologies such as digital twins and artificial intelligence (AI) are converging the physical and digital worlds in the form of smart cities and connected assets. This presents huge opportunities for tackling pressing global challenges such as the climate crisis, productivity and rapid urbanisation.

A key challenge we still face as an industry is the lack of skill and capability to enable these activities, and increased ability and skill in delivering building information modelling (BIM) and digital engineering processes are just one part of how we can make this happen.

Women in BIM recently celebrated our 10th anniversary

Women in BIM Melbourne Event To mark this occasion, we held multiple events in key regions around the world to showcase the talent within our network and promote the use of BIM and digital construction practices universally. Our WIB Core Team Members and Regional Leads staged one-day and networking events in Belo Horizonte, Bologna, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles and Melbourne – to name just a few cities that played host to our WIB community.

We looked back at where it all began 10 years ago and how at the time WIB was created to address skills-gap challenges, and to encourage diversity with a wider reach for women to excel within the built environment. Allowing women to achieve their career goals, to engage with other industry professional and learn, connect and grow.

In the beginning, we set out a vision to support women, giving them a voice to be heard

We very much place our values in line with those of the United Nations sustainable development goals where participation from the Member States has recognised the global importance of gender equality.

Particularly in Goal 5: Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls, which states that the achievement of full human potential and of sustainable development is not possible if one half of humanity continues to be denied its full human rights and opportunities. Women and girls must enjoy equal access to quality education, economic resources and political participation, as well as equal opportunities with men and boys for employment, leadership and decision-making at all levels.

In our early years, our aim was to connect and explore opportunities for building relationships and harnessing our network to support key projects. Which enforced our core themes. Our first five years built our network and position across the built environment sector, mainly focused within the UK.

The next five years harnessed growth on a global level to address the gender imbalance across the built environment, as well as to support nurture and grow our skills to be able to share policy processes technologies and innovation in a way not seen before.

Women in BIM is now a global community

Our now global network continues to expand in over 50 countries, with great emphasis being placed on regions we feel are incredibly important for growth with few women in digital role, regions such as Asia and the Middle East.

We engage and identify opportunities to go further by extending our work into secondary schools and education networks to break the barriers between what young girls feel they should do versus what we know they can achieve.

Much of our research suggests that the decisions for career pathways for young women are determined by the time they reach high school, so we know connecting with secondary schooling is just as important to us as connecting with industry.

As a global community, policy is also at the forefront of our work. Compliance toward industry standardisation to effectively be able to trade insight, lessons learned and knowledge is a huge driver, and assessing the maturity of compliance or policy toward these standards is a topic many of our members are interested in investigating.

For me personally, I feel humbled and proud of how far we’ve come in the past decade and how much we are continuing to grow. Supporting growing through education, innovation and connections, this is what we set out to achieve and we are fulfilling this every day with new members joining the network.

What does the next 10 years hold for Women in BIM?

We will continue to move ahead in addressing the global challenge of gender equality. Building our network even further to support industry demands and change. For me personally, I see digital transformation of both people and processes as my calling and it is an honour to support women across the globe in becoming a part of a digital-first industry.

The past is to be admired, the present to be enjoyed and the future of Women in BIM, this holds promise, ambition and prosperity.

I would like to thank all of or friends, partners, sponsors and members for their support in making WIB what it is today and for being integral to what we will look like after the next 10 years.


rebecca de cicco
Rebecca De Cicco

Rebecca De Cicco

Global chair and founder

Women in BIM





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