NAWIC is calling for Pink Collar boost for economy

The National Association for Women in Construction (NAWIC) Queensland is calling for a pink collar boost to the economy with new research showing construction has the lowest female participation rate of any industry.

Just 12.4% of all construction jobs are held by women according to statistics from the Australian Labour Market Information Portal. NAWIC says the number of women on the tools is much lower at around 2%.

The Queensland branch is leading the charge in closing the gender gap with a Cannon Hill apartment block being building with a 20% female workforce.

NAWIC Queensland president Jennifer Gillett says encouraging more women to pick up the tools could provide a boost to the economy by maximising local workforces.

“COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of supporting regional economies by keeping workers employed locally, and it’s fairly clear that the construction industry has an untapped resource due to the shortage of female tradies,” she says.

“We want women to realise that construction offers a solid career path with varied roles – both on and off the tools – and that there is work available with support through industry bodies like NAWIC for those looking to re-train.

“The Cannon Hill apartment project is just one example of how women can make the move into construction, with a growing number of employers in building and associated works embracing the opportunity to create a more diverse team.”

Casey Bell is among the team of 16 women working on the Cannon Hill apartment project. There are an additional 64 women expected to join the team.

“I’ve worked on a few smaller projects around Brisbane but the atmosphere on a project like this is very different and exciting to be a part of,” she says.

Casey is currently completing an electrical apprenticeship with QBuild.

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