A new report released by Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) has concluded that a dominant masculine culture in the Australian construction industry is pushing women out of work.
The study found that completion rates amongst females in apprenticeships has waned and is now comparatively 15% lower than men in the past five years.
This is despite the fact that more women have taken up carpentry and electrical apprenticeships since 2005, with female trainees up 120% in the former and 75% in the latter during this time.
CSQ chief executive Brett Schimming said perceptions that construction-related work is too hard are not true, and that the overriding industry culture is the greatest barrier to female participation.
“The root of construction’s gender problem is not women’s preferences; it is the industry’s culture and those who perpetuate it,” he said in the report. “As long as the culture of construction remains unattractive to women, we will continue to see little progress made.
“Excellent work is being done by organisations such as the National Association for Women in Construction (NAWIC), but we must focus our sights on enrolling men into the project.”
Last year, women accounted for less than 3% of the Australian construction workforce.