Digital Transformation and Hybrid Work: How Covid-19 Changed the AEC Industry

Digital Transformation and Hybrid Work: How Covid-19 Changed the AEC Industry

The Covid-19 pandemic changed nearly everything. 

From day-to-day things like contactless meal delivery and Netflix binge watching, to the way we celebrated birthdays and grocery shopped. And while in many ways, we found a new groove or ‘new normal’ as it’s so often put, these small changes have continued to shape our habits and perspectives well past the loosening of pandemic regulations and isolation measures.


BIM4Water and Women in BIM – A Collaboration Partnership

BIM4Water is partnering with Women in BIM (WIB) to drive change together, for diversity and inclusion across the Water Sector. 

Growth mindset behaviours and innovative thought leadership are attainable through optimised diversity. Digital transformation allows human resources to maximise their potential through new ways of working, change management challenges and horizon scanning. Despite this, the Water Sector digital landscape remains a majority male environment. A new partnership between BIM4Water and Women in BIM aims to address this challenge by ensuring inclusion-driven decision making is at the heart of business digital initiatives.

WIB was founded with the intention of creating a dedicated network for women working in BIM and digital construction. From the beginning, diversity and equality have always been part of the core principles of WIB. As a Membership group, WIB strives to integrate and nurture the talent and capabilities of our Members as well as taking positive action to increase respect, fairness and inclusion throughout the construction industry. Fostering cultural, ethical and social diversity is high on our agenda, with a particular focus on gender equality.

WIB works with many women globally to support career development and well as attracting young women into the industry. WIB acts as mentors to grow personal and professional skills, encouraging our Members to enter into BIM and digital-related roles in the future. WIB equips its Members with the tools and confidence they need to create a more diverse industry.

The three main objectives of Women in BIM are: 

  • Attract and encourage
  • Promote and support 
  • Advance and retain

BIM4Water is an unfunded, voluntary UK Water Industry forum that consists of a cross industry group open to all organisations involved in the management and delivery of water and wastewater assets. Focussed on the digital space, it undertakes activities in all aspects of “Better Information Management” including, but not limited to: open data sharing, data quality, security and governance, 4D construction and beyond, asset data, data classification and hierarchies, and, most importantly, the human element with respect to skills, people and changes required to drive digitalisation.

The group’s make-up is reflective of the sector, comprising clients, contractors, consultants, suppliers, subcontractors and other bodies, with work organised into a number of streams. Bringing these streams together, the group has identified that successful digitalisation depends on the management of change, that addresses human and machine elements hand-in-hand.

As BIM4Water nears it 10-year anniversary and as WIB celebrates achieving this milestone last year, it is time to connect efforts in achieving a new normal – a changed landscape of human resources. 

Clare Kovacs, Chair of BIM4Water and Rebecca De Cicco, Chair of WIB, explain the partnership plans and the difference it could make to the Water Sector. 

Clare Kovacs, Chair of BIM4Water said: “I am personally very supportive of this partnership. There is real opportunity to educate the sector in how to retain female employees, how to elevate and support other females in the sector to promote a diverse workforce and how to stand strong in developing an inclusive considerate culture and diversity mindset in organisations.”

Sharing a common vision, the aim of the BIM4Water and the WIB partnership is to promote cognitive divergence in the Water Sector through inclusive and diverse recruitment, creating the right environments that put people at the forefront of digital technological development and implementation. Through this new partnership, BIM4Water will gain access to an international community with a network of over 60 regional leads across 50 different countries. BIM4Water aim to be pioneers in international collaboration, having already had great success with Water Industry Classification and Hierarchies Group and Water Services Association of Australia.

Rebecca De Cicco, Chair and Founder of Women in BIM, said: “Women in BIM is excited to partner with BIM4Water to support growth in diversity across digital in the water sector. Personally, I am very excited about this partnership as we are starting to see real growth in water clients globally, as well as interest from our members in digital applications and process across sectors wider than Building and Infrastructure. I am excited about where we can progress in this space, and it is our vision to enable a more diverse and innovative space for Water clients.”

For more details of the work, contact Clare Kovacs


Women in BIM Mentor Scheme 2023 open for applications

Women in BIM (WIB) has launched its Mentor Scheme for a fourth year to support its Members with the aim of achieving true collaboration and encouraging the exchange of knowledge and skills.

One of WIB’s core goals has always been to support and inspire as well as engage women into taking on building information modelling (BIM) and digital construction related roles.

With the launch of the 2023 Mentoring Scheme, WIB aims to provide the structures needed to lead more women in the exciting and growing world of BIM, helping them climb the ladder to reach the roles they have set their eyes on and see them succeed. 

WIB Founder and Global Chair, Rebecca De Cicco commented on the new scheme: “As leaders in BIM, we are seeing that globally there are still issues with skills shortages and resources for digital construction. Our Mentor Scheme has been developed to unite people with a passion for technology and construction to support with filling these skills gaps. One of the biggest obstacles to BIM adoption is the lack of in-house expertise. Therefore our mentoring is a direct response to this, positioned to make a positive impact on the much needed growth of BIM skills in our industry.”

WIB Mentor Scheme Lead, Natalia Olivera said: “We invite anyone who shares our passion for digital skills growth to join the Scheme this year. Over the past few years, we have seen many women excel from the new found knowledge they have gained from their mentors. This is a truly empowering process which has transformed the careers of our Members worldwide.

“Application is a two-step process, firstly completing the online registration and secondly we invite you to attend a (virtual) interview with our Core Team to ensure we understand your experience, motivations and requirements, this will allow us to establish the most appropriate Mentor-Mentee matches.”

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, or receiving mentorship, visit the Mentor Scheme pages on the WIB website here for more details.

Apply to the WIB Mentor Scheme


BIM in the Venus Clef

On November 15 at BIM Expo, IFEMA (Madrid) a round table entitled “BIM in the Venus Clef” took place with top-level speakers. The meeting celebrated the 10th anniversary of Women in BIM and had the objective of promoting gender equality and diversity in the construction and digital sectors within the framework of a trade fair.

Coming from different professional realities, they discussed the possible reasons why, unlike design or sustainability, there is a lower number of women on construction sites or in technological and programming positions. It is not simply a question of personal affinity, but it seems that there is also a cultural base that slows down their presence in technical activities and in the leadership where decisions are made.

Most of the speakers explained that they felt freely attracted to these sectors. And that throughout their learning itineraries or professional careers they did not find barriers or limitations to take the path of technology or construction. Perhaps therefore they got to where they are today! The surprise for some came when they reached a certain level of responsibility, then they discovered that in strategic meetings and management positions there is still a significant minority of women.

At the end of the debate, we proposed to increase the critical mass of technical professionals by giving greater visibility to the work of very different profiles of women and thus create more references for girls in technology and construction works.

Society in general must know that architecture, infrastructure, construction, and technology works have a social value that can be attractive to very different types of people.

Diversity favors greater innovation, creativity, and efficiency in any activity.

Thank you all and let’s go for it!

Round table with:

María Benítez Balseiro, ISDEFE

Ana Belén Gutiérrez, APOGEA

Norena Martín-Dorta, ULL

Lola Ortiz, Ayuntamiento de Madrid

María Pascual Sáez, URBIM

María José Pérez Crespo, HISPALYT

Rosa San Mateos Carretón, TECNALIA

Raquel Veneros Gómez, INECO

And moderated by:


M Elena Pla Cuyàs, ITeC

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