Release type: Joint Media Release


Supporting women in building and construction


Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment
Minister for Women
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Senator for Western Australia

The Prime Minister and the Minister for Women today launched a pilot mentoring programme to support women in the building and construction industry.  

Women account for just 11 per cent of the total construction workforce and they leave the industry at a rate almost 40 per cent higher than men. 

Without a commitment to greater gender equality, the building and construction sector is missing out on attracting and retaining the best talent.  

Diverse workplaces have been proven to be more productive and deliver better returns to the bottom line. 

In an industry which is fundamental to the transition of our economy, the growth that stems from a more gender-balanced workforce is in the best interests of Australia.  

The pilot programme will encourage more women to enter into and lead successful careers in the overwhelmingly male-dominated sector.  

Greater gender equality across industries will also help address the gender pay gap, which will remain entrenched so long as certain sectors continue to be dominated by either men or women. 

The mentoring programme will match female senior industry leaders with female industry newcomers to support them in their pursuit of long-term and rewarding careers in building and construction. 

Delivered by Master Builders Australia, the programme will run over 12 months in New South Wales and Tasmania.  

By actively encouraging gender equality, industry groups like Master Builders Australia have the potential to drive the cultural change necessary for a 21st century workforce. 

Master Builders Australia will be provided with $250,000 in grant funding to deliver the pilot as part of the Australian Government’s Women’s Leadership and Development Strategy.  

The programme involves mentoring activities, an ambassador programme to engage young women in schools and local communities, and an annual award recognising excellence and women in leadership.  

Master Builders Australia will partner with Jobactive providers to identify candidates for the programme.