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Master Builders Australia breaks new ground for women


To coincide with International Women’s Day, Master Builders Australia has released a multifaceted policy platform, Breaking Ground: Women in Building and Construction.

Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn says Breaking Ground represents a proactive effort to not only acknowledge the challenges faced by women in construction but also to present practical solutions and ignite meaningful discussions on this critical issue.

“As one of the biggest sectors in the economy, the building and construction industry employs over 1.3 million Australians but a female participation rate of 15 per cent with only three per cent on the tools is simply not good enough,” she said.

“The industry is on the right track with growth in recent years, but there is more to do.

“Increased female participation has many benefits; it lifts productivity, boosts the economy, facilitates financial independence, assists in developing an inclusive and diverse culture and meets the much-needed workforce shortages the building and construction industry is facing.

“Breaking Ground aims to dismantle the barriers to participation while highlighting the positives of working in the industry.”

Master Builders Australia says cultural change is needed, with more flexible patterns of work and more funding, to attract and retain more women.

“We must do more to end the bias between universities and vocation education, and young women should be given the same opportunities as their male counterparts to pursue trade apprenticeships if they choose to do so,” Denita said.

“On International Women’s Day, Master Builders Australia is proud to lead the charge towards a more inclusive and diverse industry.”

Breaking Ground puts forward the following policy proposals:

  • Unbiased career guidance and more hands-on experience for young women in schools.
  • Access to information for parents so they can effectively guide their children and feel comfortable throughout the process.
  • Industry leaders should continue to promote good culture and safety practices to tackle bullying, harassment, assault, suicide, misogyny, racism, discrimination and gender-based violence.
  • Better support and flexibility for tradies who are pregnant or caring for children so they are able to strike the right balance between parenting and a trade career.
  • Continued support for Women Building Australia and like-minded networking and mentoring opportunities for young women.
  • More funding towards programs, education, facilities, information, and forums that promote building and construction careers to women, support them on the journey and strive for equality.


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