In a traditionally male-centric industry such as the construction industry, it is important to make tangible efforts towards transformation and inclusion. Industry bodies play a vital role in these efforts, driving the direction of the construction sector.

With this in mind, the Construction Industry Development Board (cidb) created an awards programme – inaugurated in 2020 – which celebrates and encourages women in the construction industry.

The Empowerment and Recognition of Women in Construction (ERWIC) Awards 2020 was met with great success, and achieved its goal of showcasing female-led projects and achievements in the sector.

The awards programme is set to take place again this year, with entries open from 7 June to 16 July 2021. Judging will take place in the week of 26 to 30 July, with the awards ceremony following in August – “Women’s month”.

The aim of the awards is to encourage excellence among women and commitment among stakeholders to support women in their professional growth and development. Through the ERWIC Awards, the cidb also aims to promote role models for women in lower grade construction categories, and motivate women in the higher grades.

Entries are open to any entity registered with the cidb which is at least 51% female-owned. The awards also recognise entities and individuals who support gender transformation and mentorship of women within the industry. The twelve categories of awards for this year include:

  1. Project Delivery Excellence of the Year
  2. Rural Project of the Year
  3. Mentoring Entity of the Year
  4. Transformation Entity of the Year
  5. Innovative Entity of the Year
  6. Business Resilience of The Year
  7. Youth-owned Woman Construction Entity of the Year (aged 35 and younger)
  8. Woman-owned Construction Entity of the Year
  9. Woman Mentor of the Year
  10. Women with Disability Contractor of the Year
  11. Exceptional Woman in Construction Contributor of the Year
  12. Chairman’s Award

Some categories changed from the 2020 awards, after a workshop and feedback session with last year’s judges and stakeholders. The new categories cater better to current industry trends. Notably, the Business Resilience of The Year award aims to recognise the entity that showed resilience, agility and adaptability in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The entity will have survived and may even have thrived during this period, kept staff employed or paid, fulfilled client obligations and where possible, completed projects. Entry criteria for all awards categories are as follows:

  • Entrants must be actively registered with the cidb, where appropriate.
  • Entrants must disclose BBBEE status (for company/organisation entrants).
  • An entered project must be from a Southern African region.
  • An entered project must have been fully completed within the awards time period. A signed declaration from client is required.
  • Entrants must complete and sign the Entry Declaration.
  • Only projects completed between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2020 are eligible for entry into the projects award categories for 2021. Projects must be completed on time, within budget and to the satisfaction of the client, and abide by all health and safety regulations.
  • Projects entered in the awards competition in one year may not be re-entered for competition in any other successive year.

Specific entry criteria differ for each award and can be viewed in the category overview online here. For more information, visit

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