Breaking Ground: Women in building and construction

Master Builders Australia

, to increase female participation in the building and construction industry.

Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn said Breaking Ground represents a proactive effort to not only acknowledge the challenges faced by women in construction but also to present practical solutions and ignite meaningful discussions on this critical issue.

“As one of the biggest sectors in the economy, the building and construction industry employs over 1.3 million Australians but a female participation rate of 15 per cent with only 3 per cent on the tools is simply not good enough.

“The industry is on the right track with growth in recent years, but there is more to do.

“Workplace shortages are putting immense pressure on our ability to meet housing targets, and Master Builders believes women will play a vital role in rectifying that.

“Increased female participation has many benefits; it lifts productivity, boosts the economy, facilitates financial independence, assists in developing an inclusive and diverse culture and meets the much-needed workforce shortages the building and construction industry is facing.

“Breaking Ground aims to dismantle the barriers to participation while highlighting the positives of working in the industry.

“Cultural change is needed, and industry structures must adapt – such as more flexible patterns of work – and more funding is required to support evidence-based programs of how to attract and retain women.

“We must do more to end the bias between universities and vocation education, and young women should be given the same opportunities as their male counterparts to pursue trade apprenticeships if they choose to do so.

“On International Women’s Day, Master Builders Australia is proud to lead the charge towards a more inclusive and diverse industry,” Ms Wawn said.

Breaking Ground puts forward the following policy proposals:

  • Unbiased career guidance and more hands-on experience for young women in schools.
  • Access to information for parents so they can effectively guide their children and feel comfortable throughout the process.
  • Industry leaders should continue to promote good culture and safety practices – there is no room in the building and construction industry for bullying, harassment, assault, suicide, misogyny, racism, discrimination and gender-based violence.
  • Better support and flexibility for tradies who are pregnant or caring for children so they are able to strike the right balance between parenting and a trade career.
  • Continued support for Women Building Australia and like-minded networking and mentoring opportunities for young women. Master Builders’ flagship industry-led initiative provides mentorship, networking opportunities and resources to support women at various stages of their careers in the industry.
  • More funding towards programs, education, facilities, information, and forums that promote building and construction careers to women, support them on the journey and strive for equality.

/Public Release.