NSW program aims to triple women in construction sector

Friday, 16 December, 2022

NSW program aims to triple women in construction sector

The NSW Government commitment to triple the number of women working on construction sites will commence with the release of the Industry Innovation Program, which aims to support initiatives that increase and retain women working in the construction industry. These initiatives include: creating inclusive workplace cultures by improving employee wellbeing and supporting flexible working arrangements; increasing the number of women entering and staying in the industry; and supporting female leadership and employees.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said the government is working with industry to achieve a target of 15% women on worksites by 2030, with a view towards reaching a more gender-balanced industry in the future. “This $10 million grant program will support industry-led initiatives to break down the barriers stopping women from considering a career in construction. We’re inviting eligible organisations to apply for grants of up to $300,000 to deliver projects that ensure these workplaces are safe, flexible and inclusive. And today we’re also launching a dedicated website for women and girls interested in learning more about the industry,” Kean said.

Minister for Infrastructure Rob Stokes said the industry is facing unique challenges that make now the perfect time to push for more women in construction. Stokes said that the grant program will support innovative solutions that encourage women to work in construction, such as more carer’s support initiatives, education programs in schools to change gender stereotypes and gender bias training. “The NSW Government’s record $112.7 billion infrastructure pipeline combined with a skills shortage means construction companies are crying out for more workers, so it’s crazy that the industry is effectively off-limits to half our population,” Stokes said.

The Industry Innovation Program will be hosted on the NSW Government’s Women in Construction website, which will be a one-stop shop for women and girls interested in learning more about the industry. Minister for Metropolitan Roads and Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the funding is an important step towards achieving the 15% women in construction target.

“This program is aimed at breaking down stereotypes in construction, making it a safer, more inclusive and healthier workplace. Providing more opportunities for women in construction will increase diversity across the industry and improve productivity,” Ward said.

Infrastructure NSW will continue to engage with stakeholders, building on the work done by contractors, sub-contractors, industry associations and trade unions. Funding will also be used to advance skills, training, and communication and engagement initiatives.

Image credit: iStock.com/JulieanneBirch

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