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Gender equality project for construction industry


The WA Government is joining with industry for a gender equality pilot to deliver results for women in construction in the state.

The $63 million Fremantle Hospital 40-bed Mental Health redevelopment is the first State Government construction project to trial gender equality targets and reporting.

The pilot aims to increase female representation on non-residential construction projects and demonstrate what can be achieved by female talent within the construction industry.

The State Government is working with ADCO Construction to deliver the 40 additional mental health beds at Fremantle Hospital, which will expand treatment and support options for patients in Perth’s southern corridor.

ADCO has committed to appointing between 25-30 per cent female staff on its project team and achieving 10-15 per cent female representation through its trade partners. The current industry averages for female representation are about 13 per cent across all construction roles and less than three per cent for trades.

The female team from ADCO is comprised of contract administrators, a safety adviser, site engineer and apprentice supervisor.

In addition, the Department of Finance, South Metropolitan Health Service and State consultants all have strong representation of women delivering the project, including project directors, senior managers, project officers, architects and an interior designer.

In an effort to boost gender equality further, Government Trading Enterprises (GTEs) will participate in a new Gender Equality in Procurement Pilot starting in July. Several port authorities, Synergy and Aqwest will be taking part in this pilot, which demands suppliers demonstrate their compliance with Workplace Gender Equality Agency reporting requirements.

This will build on the Labor Government’s Gender Equality in Procurement Pilot that was introduced by the State Government in July 2022, which includes a gender equality clause for projects listed on Tenders WA for the 19 government agencies who are participating in the pilot.

If a supplier is doing business with Government and has more than 100 staff, the pilot requires them to indicate whether they meet requirements set out in the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. If a supplier has fewer than 100 employees, they are asked what specific policies or initiatives are in place to support gender equality.

As of February this year, the clause has been included in 280 awarded contracts with a total value of more than $550 million.

Premier Roger Cook said the state needed to ensure women and girls have more opportunities to access pathways to successful careers in higher-paying industries like building and construction.

“My Government is demonstrating a strong commitment to gender equality on our worksites, collaborating with ADCO Construction to get more women into construction,” he said.

“It is vital we encourage businesses and organisations of all sizes to play their part in creating gender-equal workplaces – and that is exactly what we are doing.

“The Fremantle Hospital pilot is leading the way to showcase what can be done when Government and private industry actively work to improve gender equality in not only construction, but across all facets of delivering new projects.”

Finance and Women’s Interests Minister Sue Ellery said the pilot had kicked some great goals for women, with more than half a billion dollars’ worth of contracts awarded to suppliers that also completed a gender equality clause in the procurement process.

“Through the new pilot, which will start on July 1, Government Trading Enterprises will also have the chance to work with their suppliers to raise awareness of gender equality through their procurement activities,” she said.

“There is always more to do to embed equality in everyday business. I encourage all suppliers and contractors to the State Government to get on board and support gender quality through procurement and within the construction industry.”



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