Updated: Apr 28, 2021
22 years ago, Astrid Vasile turned to a career in construction after she moved to Perth, Western Australia. Today, she’s one of just a few female registered builders in the country, plus Executive Chair of the Australia-Indonesia Businesswomen’s & Professionals Network.
As co-owner of Western Australian based Constructions company, she’s spent 22 years building everything from contemporary homes to multi-unit dwellings and commercial developments. Yet, growing up in Indonesia, construction was the last thing on her mind – after gaining an MBA in economics, she worked in a Telecommunication's and the airline industry.
Astrid isn’t surprised when clients ask to speak to male builders. She’s used to being mistaken for someone in a less responsible role. “I just smile and say ‘try me’,” she says. “They soon realize I know construction and building and I make sense".
But what led Astrid to an industry typically dominated by men?
Astrid wants to be a role model for women working in the construction industry.
In many ways, she already is. The 59-year-old site director at GV Construction (WA) is working on huge developments project in Western Australia. After leaving work, she goes home to study, look after her family and manage other organizations online, in between that, she organizes projects with Indonesian Diaspora Business Council, and aims to give young professionals in the industry a voice.
“I do it all to give back my experiences gained,” she says. It’s that attitude that has contributed to her success.
Building a legacy
Astrid is an award winner and an advocate for women working in construction. She’s worked on the multi-million project in Westerns Australia, and now she’s one of the Official Judges for the Kitchen & Bathroom Residential awards for the Housing Industry Associations of Western Australia. Astrid is clearly determined to be successful in an industry where traditionally few women hold high positions. However, she wants to break that mould and be a role model for others. “There wasn’t really any female in that field to look up to, so I made Julie Bishop my idol ”. “But I hope I can be that person that young female can look up to ".
But what advice would Astrid give to other women seeking to enter the industry?
“Believe in yourself. You’re more confident than you think you are. If you think you can not be as good as others, think again, because You can !. I never looked back and if that’s what you want to do, then do it. “Hopefully one day, people will say: ‘Look at Astrid, she’s done it. So can I.’”