One of Australia's great male bastions, the building industry, has for the first time in its 127-year history chosen a woman to champion its cause as it sets about trying to attract more female workers.

Master Builders Australia marked International Women’s Day by announcing that Denita Wawn as its new chief executive and voice for the 32,000 – mostly male – workers in the $200 million building and construction industry. Ms Wawn, who has spent the past 14 months as the industry group’s operations manager,…