$20 Million to Help Women Smash the Gyprock Ceiling
An ambition to triple the number of women working in the construction industry will be backed by a $20.2 million commitment in the NSW Government’s 2022-23 Budget.
Treasurer Matt Kean said the Government will lead the way with a goal of 15 per cent women in construction by 2030, with a view towards reaching a more gender-balanced industry into the future.
"The latest estimates show that skills shortages in the Australian construction industry could top 105,000 workers by 2023," Mr Kean said.
"Increasing the number of women in the construction industry is essential to lower the gender pay gap and ensure we have the skilled workforce required to deliver the Government’s record $110.4 billion infrastructure pipeline."
Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport Rob Stokes said that women currently make up about 5% of the construction workforce and Infrastructure NSW would work closely with industry to reach the 2030 goal.
“Historic skills shortages coupled with the biggest infrastructure program our State has ever seen means there is no better time to support more women to pursue a career in the construction industry,” Mr Stokes said.
“This funding will go towards breaking down the cultural barriers that stop women from considering a career in construction and help them smash through the gyprock ceiling.”
Minister for Women's Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the Government will work towards its 15 per cent goal by shifting the culture in construction and leading by example on its own worksites.
“We have to ensure women on construction sites have access to adequate, clean amenities, necessary personal protective equipment, that worksites are free of offensive materials and there are opportunities for more flexibility in working hours,” Mrs Ward said.
"Women employed in male-dominated environments are at greater risk of sexual and gender harassment compared with the national average, but this plan can help improve the experience of women in construction."
Infrastructure NSW will continue to engage with stakeholders, building on the work already done by industry associations and trade unions. Funding will be used to sponsor innovative industry-led initiatives, and increase existing participation targets, skills and training initiatives.
The initiative is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to growing the economy and building opportunity for all.