Supporting Women in Trades Strategic Policy

New South Wales

Aestra was engaged by Build Like a Girl Australia to provide strategic policy advice and develop a funding pitch to government. Aestra delivered the project on a pro bono basis.

Build Like a Girl Australia is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging and supporting women in trades with the goal of seeing an equal gender balance in the construction industry. They provide pre-apprenticeship and entry level programs aimed at encouraging and retaining women in trade-related roles.

The construction industry is Australia’s third largest employer and remains Australia’s most male-dominated industry. In 2020, women in the construction industry represented approximately 11 per cent of the workforce. However, women make up less than 2 per cent of all staff employed in trade roles.

Of the women who do commence in a trade role, 74 per cent leave their apprenticeship during their first year, compared to 44 per cent for men. The absence of women in the construction industry inhibits productivity and prevents economic growth. However, there remain a number of barriers that limit the uptake of trade roles for women including: social exclusion, workplace harassment, the availability of basic hygiene services on many work sites, and a culture of silence about core industry cultural issues.

Aestra’s involvement supported the founder of Build Like a Girl Australia, Joanne Farrell, to meet with NSW ministers and senior members of government to seek additional funding to support the expansion of Build Like a Girl Australia’s projects and further achievement of their mission.