Home » Australian gender policy for construction comes into effect

Australian gender policy for construction comes into effect

by Sion Geschwindt
gender quota australia

A mandatory gender quota for major construction projects, announced earlier this month by Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, will come into effect from January 1.

The Building Equality Policy requires that women must represent at least 3% of jobs in each trade role on a project, 4% of apprentices and trainees, 7% for each non-trade position, and 35% of management, supervisor, and specialist labour roles.

The policy will be applicable on all new government construction projects worth A$20m (c.£10.7m) or more.

This landmark gender quota has been hailed as an Australian-first.

Jacinta Allan, transport infrastructure minister, said: “We need to make women aware that construction is an attractive and viable career option – and these targets will ensure women are proactively included and stay in the industry, with stronger career pathways.

“Greater diversity makes our workplaces stronger – and greater representation of women in construction will benefit everyone in the industry.”   

The new policy to overhaul the male-dominated industry was devised in consultation with Victoria’s Building Industry Consultative Council. 

Rebecca Casson, acting council chair and Master Builders Victoria chief executive, added: “More women are active in building and construction now than in the past, but they still make up just 2.5% of all building and construction trades workers in Victoria.”

Major construction sites will be some leniency with a two year transition period to work towards fulfilling gender quotas before penalties kick in from January 2024.

Read next: UWE Bristol foregrounds diversity at new building launch

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