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Celebrating women in construction but more action needed


This International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to celebrate all the amazing achievements by women in construction and how the industry can best support this growing workforce, said Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn.

“Attracting more women to join the building and construction industry is not only a matter of gender equality and empowerment but also a critical strategy for the industry’s growth and development.

“As Minister O’Connor recently pointed out, most of the jobs on the skills shortage list are struggling with gender imbalances. With only 14 per cent of the workforce in the industry being female, we are missing out on the skills and talents of half the population.

“Getting more women into construction is a win-win for both the industry and women. Women have a lot to offer the industry, and the diversity of skill that women bring can strengthen the industry, economy, and community.

“Today also provides an opportunity to celebrate the increase in female participation we have seen over the last few years,” said Ms Wawn.

The Women Building Australia program, funded through a federal government grant and delivered through Master Builders, offers several initiatives to help women break into the industry and thrive once they are there.

Programs include the mentorship program, female-led business register, business resilience training, and harassment and discrimination support line.

“We recognise that the building and construction industry has been traditionally male-dominated, but we’re committed to breaking down those barriers and making this industry more inclusive for women.

“Our goal is to create an environment where women feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to pursue careers in construction.

Master Builders has also proposed several policies to boost female participation in the building and construction industry ahead of the 2023-24 federal budget.

The industry needs to attract and sustain a steady flow of new apprentices each year to meet future construction needs, and funding commitments for VET programs and a better distribution framework are essential.

The proposed policies include funding a National Partnership Agreement to improve careers education in secondary schools, developing an Apprentice Commencement and Retention Strategy, using data to publish VET quality indicators to help with informed decision-making, and improving administrative frameworks and ensuring that the implementation of the Australian Skills Guarantee does not impose unnecessary red tape on employers.

“Our sensible budgetary proposals will not only improve the industry’s attractiveness to women but also benefit existing members with running their businesses,” said Ms Wawn.

Media contact: Dee Zegarac, National Director, Media & Public Affairs
0400 493 071 |

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