International Women’s Day on March 8 is all about understanding gender equality and diversity - especially in the workforce. It is not the day to celebrate women’s superiority to men, as is often misunderstood, but rather recognises the importance of gender diversity and equality in all sectors of a nation’s economic growth. The theory that women are not as capable contributors to the workforce has long since been debunked. In Rwanda, the theory has been turned to practice and evidently, women are active in many areas otherwise viewed as men’s domains. And yes, they do excel and make headlines news. This article will focus on the construction industry which we all interact with in one way or another and in which women in Rwanda are making amazing contributions to. Undeniably, the construction in Rwanda is booming, Kigali city is full of caterpillars and cranes, doing what they do best; as busy as bees creating a modern city. If you have not been to a part of Kigali for a month, you will almost lose your bearing the next time you are there. From my own observation, the last decade has seen the construction industry change quite a lot for women and the space is currently a lot more gender diverse than used to be before 2010. From the education perspective, universities are witnessing more girls venturing into architecture and engineering and a lot more women are pursuing construction related degrees to higher levels. From what we see in our everyday lives, there are a lot more women on construction sites, and not just doing the cooking. Have you not seen the women doing pointing of brick walls ‘gukotera’ in kinyarwanda? Everywhere you and I go, they are there and doing an amazing job. I don’t think the minister of gender is writing letters to contractors, no. I bet women are doing it so well that no men want to take this space anymore. At this skill level, there are many more amazing women painters, masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers as there are men. As we celebrate outcomes like these, lets not forget that these are results of efforts from different sources; we owe a big thank you to anyone getting out of their way to ensure girls are in school and they believe they can be architects and engineers one day in the future. More than ever before, there is more awareness in schools than there used to be, there are many more STEM ambassadors actively involved in mentorship, there are great women excelling in the construction industry out there and they become the reason for more entrants. A FemEng in Rwanda project in collaboration between university of Glasgow and university of Rwanda has reached to over 6,000 school children in Rwanda over the last four years in a bid to entice them into stem, RAWISE an association of Rwandan women who aim to promote female participation in science, technology, engineering and decision-making processes, TechWomen empowers, connects and supports the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East by providing them the access and opportunity needed to advance their careers, pursue their dreams, and inspire women and girls in their communities, to mention but a few. As a woman and an architect, living in Rwanda where every other woman around me is literally a living testimony of the possibilities of a valid dream, gives me lots of inspiration. My teaching job in the university makes me feel very valuable in a society as responsibility is placed in my hands to change people’s quality of life through learning. I periodically sit around girls in architecture to build their confidence, and the synergies comes in us wanting to work harder to make it known that there is no difference between what females and males can bring to architecture in terms of skills and all other added values. These efforts have paid off and girls studying architecture in the University of Rwanda have formed an association as a vehicle to mentor and impact, and are unapologetically tapping younger girls’ interests into the course. Since the school was founded ten years ago, the average of female students per class has been three or two, this year we have 10! At least for us this is how success looks like. Although the trajectile for women in in Rwanda in various fields is promising, there is still need to keep increasing numbers of women in especially sectors that are still men dominated. Women are believed to have impressive physical labor skills, capable of bringing new ideas and perspectives to a workplace, and the construction industry is no different. The same humanitarian considerations women put forward in their homes as they take care of children or as they take on domestic chores, can also be up scaled to a work place. There is no doubt that more women need to be recruited, retained and allowed to climb the ladder in work places and here are two suggestions on how; Reaching out to women applicants During a recent TechWomen networking event, a common joke was shared once again, that when a job is advertised, it is highly likely that women shy from applying because they feel less qualified for it, while on the other hand, men who are not even qualified are already writing their application and feeling over qualified for the job. It has actually been scientifically proven that women apply for a promotion only when they believed they met 100 percent of the qualifications listed for the job. Men apply when they thought they could meet 60 percent of the job requirements. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? What this can teach us is that the procurement system could be more proactive; identify potential candidates and encourage them to apply for the job. I see nothing wrong in you making a reminder call on the same. Offering continued support to women It’s no secret that the construction industry is male-dominated. While the reason for this has a lot of other contributing factors, the stigma that women are not suited for industry is a significant factor and yet one that can be resolved very easily. A progressive employer would ensure that their company and employees are aggressively challenging these negative stereotypes and openly showing their support for women. Employees also ought o understand that in order to retain recruited more female candidates in a workplace, the transaction does not stop at hiring. An employee could invest in strategies to retain its employees by building communities or families within workplace that value diversity and inclusivity. Keeping al employees happy and satisfied with what they do regardless of whether they are men or women requires inclusion and professional development. A progressive employer would invest time in hosting social functions where open dialogue is encouraged, where collaboration is encouraged and where everyone ideas are listen to and discussed fairly. Issues of equal pay, benefits, nature of work, types of opportunities should not be taken for granted. Extra efforts such as sponsoring women’s events. How many companies/institutions celebrated the recent international women’s day in style? The views expressed in this article are of the author.