The Civil Contractors Federation of Queensland is today using their State Conference in Cairns to shine a spotlight on gender diversity in the workplace.
Minister for Women Di Farmer, who spoke at the conference, said gender diversity was not just good for business, it was also an important way businesses can help prevent domestic and family violence.
“The civil construction sector is a significant employer of Queenslanders and offers a range of career opportunities,” she said.
“This is such a diverse industry from labourers, plant operators and concreters to supervisors and civil engineers with employees in building, maintaining and designing our roads, railways, buildings, airports, tunnels and dams to name a few.
“We know that achieving gender balance in the workplace makes businesses more productive and improves the services they provide.
“We also know that when people hold attitudes that don’t support gender equality, they are likely to also hold worrying attitudes about violence towards women, thinking it’s sometimes okay.
“Violence against women is never okay, which is why it’s so important to see businesses supporting and actively working toward gender equality and attitudes which support gender equality.
“I congratulate the Civil Contractors Federation for hosting today’s panel discussion about the importance of diversity in the workplace, and for being leaders in gender equality within the construction industry. “
Ms Farmer said women and girls needed strong leadership in traditionally male-dominated fields to encourage them to pursue careers they are passionate about.
“Women and girls cannot be what they cannot see, and that’s why it’s so important that we encourage more of them into these fields,” she said.
“I am proud to be part of a government leading by example with almost half our government members being women.”
Ms Farmer said the Queensland Women’s Strategy guides the government’s investment in improving the lives of Queensland women and girls with four key priorities – participation and leadership, economic security, safety and health and wellbeing.
“We are working towards a target of 50 per cent women in leadership positions in the public sector by 2022, and are targeting female students and encouraging them to get involved in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” she said.
“More women than ever before are entering fields that are traditionally male-dominated paving the way for more diverse and inclusive workplaces, decisions and services and leading to greater productivity for business.
Damian Long, Chief Executive Office, Civil Contractors Federation Queensland Limited said the industry was in need of a larger pool of capable, skilled and productive employees.
“Currently with women making up such a small percentage of the available employees within the industry, employers are missing out on a large portion of these skilled and productive workers,” he said.
“The challenge is in showing the opportunities and career pathways for women within the civil construction industry and CCF QLD is dedicated to showcasing these pathways.
“Historically the civil construction industry has been seen as stereotypically a male dominated industry. We can see where we play an important role in eliminating the perceived barriers of entry for women while demonstrating the broad range of career pathways available to all people which range from trade and site skills to engineering, construction and management roles.”
Mr Long said having the Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and the Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence participating in the Diversity Panel at the CCF QLD State Conference is one way that they are showcasing their commitment to eliminating Family and Domestic Violence.
“CCF QLD has and will continue to be active supporters of Family and Domestic Violence elimination within our industry and the wider community,” he said.