More Women Needed in Construction: HIA
International Women’s Day, is a great opportunity for the building industry to consider how a traditionally male dominated industry, can encourage women in to its workforce. It is also a great time for a woman considering a career in the construction industry to look beyond the traditional trades to the significant range of career paths on offer HIA Deputy Director- Policy and Industry Jocelyn Martin, said today.
“It is true that the construction industry has one the lowest rates of female participation amongst the major industries in the Australian economy,” Ms Martin said.
“Only 13 per cent of the construction industry are female, but these figures do not tell the whole story, because while numbers are low, they are rising steadily, and the opportunities for women to gain a career in the construction are opening.
“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 three years ago 2019.
“The pandemic has left large gaps in labour supply and women have seen the opportunity to learn a trade or pursue a career in the construction industry for not only the financial benefits, but also the long term career progression that they may not have in other fields of expertise. These roles may not just be working on the tools but in complex problem solving roles.
“Roles in the construction industry such as planners, architects, surveyors, and designers are rewarding and diverse and there are now many examples of women becoming builders and developers.
“It’s 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 within the industry can be eliminated. Efforts over recent years are starting show the walls slowly coming down.
“For its part HIA has strong network of women who work within the construction industry, we offer the opportunity for professional connections through our HIA Building Women program nationally and offer training and apprentice programs with wrap around mentoring to support young women entering the industry.
“HIA also believes in celebrating the achievements of pioneering women who have decided to enter the home building workforce and take on the variety of challenges it presents.
“Whilst it’s true the ranks of women are small in the construction industry, the numbers are growing. International Women’s day is a great opportunity for the building industry and governments to consider new and innovative ways to promote the breadth of careers available and to retain women in roles through mentoring.
“It 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 Martin.