14 May 2024

Master Builders Association casts wide net to promote women in construction

| Andrew McLaughlin
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instructor with trades student

Women make up just 15 per cent of the construction industry workforce, but the Master Builders Association is addressing this by launching a website designed to attract females to the sector in NSW. Photo: Women Building NSW.

An initiative has been launched in New South Wales to attract more women to the construction industry.

The Master Builders Association (MBA) of NSW and the State Government have joined forces to create the Women Building NSW scheme.

The project has been made possible through funding from the Training Services NSW Trade Pathways Program.

The MBA says the website is a significant milestone in the industry’s efforts to promote inclusivity and diversity. It says it offers a range of resources and support for women and girls, parents, employers and consumers.

Executive director Brian Seidler said he hoped providing vital resources and support would help more women pursue careers in the sector.

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“As one of the largest sectors, with around 150,000 businesses employing around 400,000 people, the building and construction industry plays a crucial role in the growth and prosperity across every city, town and region in NSW,” he said.

“But sadly, only 15 per cent of that workforce is made up of women, and as little as 3 per cent of tradies are women.

“This presents a massive opportunity for the future success of the industry with an untapped pool of the population who have an array of skills and talents to bring to the table.”

Features of the website include:

  • A Job Guidebook covering more than 100 careers and job opportunities for women in trades.
  • A business start-up booklet for women interested in establishing a construction business.
  • Information for parents, teachers and career advisers.
  • Information on upcoming pre-apprenticeship courses and apprenticeship employment opportunities for girls and women.
  • Resources for employers to recruit, retain and support women in construction.
  • A register of female-led businesses in the building and construction industry.
  • Women ambassadors and mentors offering support and guidance.
  • Industry stories, networking events, and resources on gender awareness and discrimination.

The MBA says the sector is facing a “chronic workforce shortage” at the same time NSW is also struggling with a housing crisis.

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“Women are the key to ensuring we can unlock the door to many more homes and deliver the vital infrastructure and commercial hubs communities are crying out for,” Mr Seidler said.

“We know the premise of working in a male-dominated industry can be daunting for parents of young girls who might be interested in the trades, so we want to make sure there are appropriate support networks available and clear information on the opportunities.

“Unfortunately, vocational education still faces biases to its university cousin, especially in school, so this hub hopes to dispel some of the myths and showcase the rewarding opportunities for women.”

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