Building Gender Equality In Victoria’s Construction Sector

  • Minister for Industrial Relations

The Andrews Labor Government is launching a new strategy to encourage more women to consider a career in construction.

Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas today announced the launch of Victoria’s first Women in Construction Strategy, which will kick off with three initial programs to help make the strategy’s goals a reality.

The $500,000 strategy will include:

  • A new online jobs portal for women candidates who are looking for roles in the construction industry, providing employment opportunities as well as recruitment and training support, career counselling and resume services.
  • A training program developed by the Victorian Trades Hall Council to create respectful relationships on construction sites. Trained officers will visit sites to educate workers and employers about gendered violence in the workplace and how best to support others.
  • A new set of recruitment standards and practices for the construction industry, to be developed by the Master Buildings Association of Victoria.

Existing recruitment practices and policies will be reviewed to identify gender bias in current industry thinking and the notions around “fitting in”.

More women are active in the Victorian labour market than ever before, but they make up only 2 per cent of the workers in Australian construction – the country’s most male-dominated industry.

The Andrews Labor Government is taking a lead role in championing gender equality, setting a 50 per cent target for women on Victorian Government boards and having pledged to eliminate the gender pay gap.

Since 2015, the number of women on Victorian Government boards has increased from 39 per cent to 53 per cent. The gender pay gap in the Victoria Public Service (VPS) has almost halved in five years, from 6.1 per cent to 3.3 per cent.

Under the Labor Government’s Gender Equality Strategy: Safe and Strong, we’ve pledged to appoint 50 per cent women executives in the Victorian Public Service.

The Women in Construction Strategy is based on three key themes: Attract, Recruit and Retain. It was developed together with the Building Industry Consultative Council, which is made up of employers, industry associations and unions. The strategy is available at vic.gov.au/victorias-women-construction-strategy.

As stated by Treasurer Tim Pallas

“Women are more active in our labour market now than in the past, but they still only make up 2 per cent of workers in Australian construction – that needs to change and we’re determined to drive that change.”

As stated by Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams

“Encouraging women in construction careers will help reduce the gender pay gap and meet rising demand for a skilled workforce, while giving opportunities for rewarding lifelong careers.”

/Public Release. View in full here.