NAWIC Tasmania has been invited to be part of an industry advisory group for the development of Women in Building and Construction Strategy recently announced by the Tasmanian Government, along with an associated $75,000 investment.
The strategy will be designed to help highlight the variety of career options within the industry and will seek to address barriers that prevent women from entering the construction industry.
The government has also committed $350,000 per annum over the next three years, to develop an industry-led approach to enable and empower more women in non-traditional areas, including the Supporting Women to Succeed grants program and developing a Modern Workplaces Framework resource to support safe workplaces for women.
This comes as the Tasmanian Chapter called for the government to commit to increasing the participation of women in the Tasmanian construction industry during the recent state election.
“Master Builders Tasmania (MBT) estimate the construction workforce will need to grow by 25 per cent by 2025 to deliver the infrastructure that will secure our future. This presents an exceptional opportunity to expand the construction workforce by better supporting female participation,” says NAWIC Tasmania President, Monique Little.
As of March 2021, women account for only 10.2 per cent of people working in the Tasmanian construction industry.
“There is an undeniable and well documented connection between increased diversity in company leadership and the wider workforce, and positive impacts on company performance, including increased financial profitability*,” says Monique.
Specifically, NAWIC called on the incoming government to commit to the following policy priorities:
- Implement the recommendations of the Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report (2020).
- To create a fund for small businesses in the Tasmanian construction industry to undertake diversity and inclusion training.
- To support and provide funding for a partnership between NAWIC Tasmania, Master Builders Tasmania and the Department of Education to expand the current MBT schools outreach program; Pathways into Building and Construction.
- To deliver funding to develop a ‘Modern Worksite’ framework – an informal accreditation program for builders and construction companies to provide a safe workplace for women.
“We hope that in the coming months, NAWIC Chapters and the National Advocacy committee will have the opportunity to continue to influence policy and decision-making in government to significantly improve even some of the most basic conditions for women working in the industry,” says NAWIC National Chair Kristine Scheul.
*Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2018