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Conquering last frontier for women – the construction industry


A new national mentoring program to boost the number of women in the male dominated building industry is being launched by Master Builders Australia’s first female CEO Denita Wawn today.

Building and construction is the last frontier for women as Australia’s most male dominated industry with women making up only 11 per cent of the industry’s 1.1 million workers. But things are changing and the Women Building Australia Mentoring Program is a big step in building on the efforts of Master Builders around the country to support more women into the industry.

“We want to build on this change for the better. There is so much opportunity for women to build careers in building and construction right now but we need to support them when they make the choice to join our industry,” Denita Wawn said.

Women Building Australia will encourage and support women who are currently working in the building and construction industry and those who are on training pathways to careers in the industry,” she said.

“This is a hugely important initiative for the industry’s future. Even when women are attracted to careers in building and construction too many drop out of training or choose not to start jobs when they complete their training,” Denita Wawn said.

“The industry simply cannot afford for this to continue. We need to both train and retain women in the industry and see them develop and achieve so they can form part of our industry’s future workforce,” she said.

“By recruiting mentors from the thousands of builders and building businesses in communities around Australia, Women Building Australia will also help ensure more women are accepted in the industry,” Denita Wawn said.

“It will spur more of our industry’s leaders to support women to take on the industry’s sometimes excessively ‘blokey’ culture and give women starting out more resilience and confidence that they can achieve their full potential,” she said.

“Firms employing women in our industry already testify to the business benefits of getting women on board. It’s not just that women can do things as well as men, they also bring new skills and approaches to the workforce that boost productivity,” Denita Wawn said.

“But there’s a long way to go. The number of women in our industry remains woefully low, both in building trades and para-professional and professional jobs,” she said.

“Master Builders is proud to be launching Women Building Australia and thanks the Federal Government for funding the project. We are calling for the industry, for builders all over Australia to get behind it,” Denita Wawn said.

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