More than 150 working women have converged on Devonport for the bi-annual Women in Male Dominated Occupations and Industries conference, which aims to encourage recruitment, retention, and improved conditions for women.
Over more than 20 years, this affirmative action initiative of the trade union movement has helped inspire hundreds of women and given them the tools needed to enter, advance, and thrive as a minority in some of the toughest workplaces around.
The three day conference will feature talks by high-profile women, including Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus and Member for Franklin Julie Collins.
Maritime Union of Australia National Divisional Womens Officer Mich-Elle Myers said the WIMDOI network had been a vital resource that had helped many women advance in industries once considered “men’s work”.
“In countless industries and occupations that were once considered ‘men’s work’, women are making huge inroads,” Ms Myers said.
“WIMDOI is about providing the support, encouragement, mentoring, and assistance that is needed to encourage more women to enter these industries.
“Run by women trade unionists, we focus on the steps needed to break down barriers, offer support, improve retention, and ensure women receive the same wages and conditions as their male counterparts through collective action.
“Members of WIMDOI have gone on to become highly successful in some of the toughest workplaces around as a result of the support and encouragement of the network.
“Others have become leaders of our unions, using their skills and experience to deliver better outcomes for everyone working in their industries.”
The Spirit of Wimdoi Conference is being held from November 12 to 14 at the paranaple convention centre in Devonport.