| 10 February 2023

New Women in Construction Program aims to triple female workforce

The NSW Government is investing $20.2 million in a Women in Construction Innovation Program which aims to drastically boost the number of women working on construction sites.

The program will provide grants for businesses to deliver projects that help to increase the number of women working in trade related roles.

Currently only five per cent of the NSW construction workforce are women. The government’s goal is to increase this to 15 per cent by 2023.

Engineers Australia CEO Romilly Madew AO says the program will help drive change.

“As our Strengthening the Engineering Workforce discussion paper highlights, Australia is experiencing a significant engineering skills shortage. As construction makes up a large sector of the engineering profession, increasing women's participation in the field will be critical in addressing this.”

NSW’s Women in Construction Innovation Program has allocated $10 million for industry grants to support initiatives to break down barriers preventing women from working in construction such as implementing flexible working support or family friendly benefits and policies.

Eligible organisations can apply for grants of up to $300,000 to deliver projects that meet the program objectives. Applications close 2.00 pm on Wednesday 15 March.

Engineers Australia’s Women in Engineering Report found women still make up only 16 per cent of Australian engineering graduates and only 14 per cent of the workforce.

Madew says the Women In Construction Innovation Program shows a commitment from government to support increasing the number of women in construction roles.

The NSW government has also set up a Women in Construction website to host practical information and stories from women currently working in the sector. The website features free resources and information on programs across NSW.