On behalf of the membership of the National Association of Women in Construction I would like to record how appalled we were at Ray O'Rourke's comments (19 May, page 14).

Does Mr O'Rourke also consider it inappropriate to have been awarded work by the female clients who form part of our membership? Does he think it inappropriate that his organisation received publicity in a construction magazine edited by a woman? Perhaps he would prefer it the female members of the finance world didn't invest in his projects, too.

What it really goes to show is how a few people like Mr O'Rourke cause such narrow-minded bigotry to persist. Would he have dared to make such a comment on the grounds of race or religion? I think not. These comments are disappointing in the extreme, fundamentally inaccurate and disconnected from the real world.

Katrina Dowding, chair, NAWIC