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Number of women in construction are increasing but more can be done

Media release

Number of women in construction are increasing but more can be done

Media release
“International Women’s Day provides a great opportunity to recognise and reflect on the growth in diversity across the construction industry. While the number of women in the industry is still lower than we would like, the numbers are rising steadily,” said Melissa Adler, HIA Senior Executive Director, Compliance & Workplace Relations.

“Currently, women make up approximately 15 per cent of the construction industry, but these figures do not tell the whole story, with the focus too often only on onsite trades. 

“The construction industry is filled with a wide range of opportunities for women and we are already seeing a larger percentage of women taking on roles in construction and thriving.

“Roles in the industry can include planners, architects, surveyors, lawyers and designers and there are a number of female CEOs of construction organisations. 

“From a purely trades perspective our figures show the construction industry is now training more female workers than ever before.

“There are nearly 6,000 female apprentices and trainees undertaking training in the construction industry which is more than double the number in training from 2019. 

“With the persistent gaps in the supply of labour, women have seen the opportunity to learn a trade or pursue a career in the construction industry not only for the financial benefits, but also for the long-term career progression lacking in other fields of expertise.

“The Federal Government has committed to building 1.2 million homes over the next five years. One of the key issues is the current significant workforce shortages across all areas of the construction industry.

“Women can play a key role in addressing these skill shortages and build successful careers in our industry.

“It is true there is an array of conscious and sub-conscious biases that influence the perceptions of career opportunities for women in the construction industry. Too often these biases steer women away from pursuing a career in building.

“But the gender-based barriers that limit female participation can be eliminated. Efforts over recent years are starting to show the walls are coming down.

“For its part HIA has a strong network of women who work within the construction industry, offering opportunities for professional connections through HIA’s Building Women program nationally, and offer training and apprentice programs with wrap around mentoring to support young women entering the industry. 

“Days like today offer an opportunity for the construction industry and Government to consider new and innovative ways to promote the breadth of careers available and the limitless career prospects that exist in the construction industry.

“The focus of the National Construction Industry Forum on gender and diversity in the construction industry is providing a valuable avenue to explore the roadblocks and opportunities available to women. 

“Today is also a chance for women thinking about getting into the industry to explore beyond traditional industry entry points as they will find the opportunities that await them varied and exciting,” concluded Ms Adler.

For more information please contact:

Melissa Adler

Executive Director - Industrial Relations and Legal Services

Simon Croft

Chief Executive - Industry & Policy
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