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Women in Construction: time to smash down the gender bias wall

Women in Construction: time to smash down the gender bias wall

The construction industry in Australia generates more than $360 billion a year in revenue and employs around 1.2 million people. But what percentage of that workforce is women? And how can you become a tradie lady and smash down the gender bias wall?


According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the building and construction industry is the most male-dominated sector in Australia – particularly at managerial and executive level. Around 97% of CEOs and 88% of senior managers in the industry are men. But there are signs more women are interested in working in construction.

Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) data found female tradies completing apprenticeships more than doubled from 2010 to 2020, while the over number of women in construction increased from 44,583 in 2015 to 59,587 in 2020, for an increase of 34%. But overall, across the country, just 2.5% of tradies are women.

Female participation charts

Source: CSQ


Although women make up around 13% of the construction workforce, of that close to 87% work in office positions, such as administration, sales, or management. CSQ said the most popular trades for women were painting, tiling, gardening and landscaping, plastering, and earthmoving plant operators.  


A 2016 study by the University of NSW found issues such rigid work hours, parental leave policies, pay inequality, and exclusion, all contributed to barriers for women working in the construction industry. The study cited a lack of work life balance for women, who felt they were left to choose between working in construction of caring for their family. This extended to parental leave policies.

Parental leave is viewed as an actual and resource cost on construction project, with little recognition of the cost on women’s pay equity and career progression” – UNSW study

There is still around a 14% gender pay gap in Australia, and the construction industry is slightly above the national average at 16.6%.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics


Some companies are looking at ways to increase female representation on the tools, such as actively hiring more women, and giving them greater access to opportunities for career progression. There is data to suggest 13% of construction companies are now owned by women, which is an increase of 64% over five years.

Infrastructure company ACCIONA Australia and New Zealand recently ran a construction project with a 50:50 split of men and women to see the results, and the project finished ahead of schedule and under budget.

“We wanted to break the paradigm. It’s very unusual to finish ahead of time and ahead of budget. So that was an excellent outcome.” – ACCIONA Australia and New Zealand COO Andre Noonan.

Mr Noonan said it makes absolutely no sense for the entrenched gender bias to continue because it’s simply not sustainable as a business model.

Women in Construction: time to smash down the gender bias wall

Governments are also actively working to boost the number of tradie ladies. The Queensland government has set targets for its construction arm QBuild to boost the overall representation of women in construction. In New South Wales, the state government announced it will support 3,000 training placed for women in trades to boost representation. The Victorian government also plans on greater funding for apprenticeships and training for women.

“Each year, governments spend billions of dollars on procurement, and procurement guidelines are one of the most powerful tools that governments have got to accelerate gender-inclusive economic growth.”  – Victoria’s Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner Niki Vincent


You can also help boost female representation in the construction industry by studying an online building or construction course. With strong future growth predicted, and increased incentives for women to join the industry, the future looks bright for tradie ladies.

Get in touch today to learn more about your study options.

Sources: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Construction Skills Queensland, ABC, Australian Industry and Skills Committee, UNSW, Big Rentz, Queensland government, NSW government, Victoria government


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5 reasons you should consider becoming a tradie in 2022

The building and construction industry continues to be one of the biggest and fastest-growing sectors in Australia. It employs around 1.2 million people and generates more than $360 billion in revenue. If you are considering becoming a tradie in 2022, here are 5 reasons to make the jump.

1. Tradies are in high demand

Australians have saved a huge amount of money during the pandemic, as lockdowns and border closures wreaked havoc on travel and entertainment plans. Research from Hipages, an online services company, found 83% of Australians saved an average of $1183 a month during lockdowns, and many people are starting to tip their money into home renovations. Tradies will be in demand in a range of roles such as carpentry, plumbing, plastering, and building.

2. It can be a lucrative career

Working as a tradie not only affords good job security, but it can also be a lucrative career. A survey by ServiceSeeking.com found more than 25% of Australian tradies earned more than $100,000 a year. If you aspire to become a licensed builder and work for yourself, you could potentially charge up to $150/hour for your work, according to service.com.

3. Be your own boss

If you are interested in having the freedom to work for yourself, becoming a tradie can give you that opportunity. For example, in Queensland close to 99% of construction businesses are either people working as sole traders (60%) or small businesses with 1-19 employees (39%).

5 reasons you should consider becoming a tradie in 2022
Source: Construction Skills Queensland

Overall, there are close to 410,000 construction businesses across Australia, with the majority either sole traders or small businesses.

4. Strong sense of job satisfaction

Working as a tradie can offer you a great sense of job satisfaction. A recent study of construction workers found 65% rated their job satisfaction between 8 and 10 on a scale of 1-10, and the average score for the group was 7.9.

A similar study also found 56% of tradies loved their job, compared to just 37% across other industries. Tradies listed interacting with customers, learning something new, working outdoors, job variety, and seeing visible accomplishments as some of the reasons they loved their work.

5. You can get qualified fast

One of the best reasons to become a tradie is you can do it quickly. Whereas studying a degree can take upwards of three years, completing an online building and construction course may take less time.

The Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) CPC40110 is the perfect course for someone looking to grow their practical building skills and knowledge, and completing it can help you meet the technical requirements to apply for a builders licence* in most state and territories in Australia.

If you want to launch your career as a tradie in 2022, fill out the form below to speak to one of our Education Consultants who can find the right course for you.

*Please refer to your local building authority for details regarding builders licence applications

Sources: National Skills Commission, news.com, Service.com, Construction Skills Queensland, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Newswire, Insight DIY

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Why is education needed to become a builder?

Are you a tradie with experience on the tools but you haven’t gained a qualification yet? Are you thinking ‘why is education needed to become a builder’ when you already know your way around the worksite?

Here’s what you need to know to learn the benefits of completing an online building course and why education is important if becoming a builder is one of your career goals.

1.  Ability to quote and earn more

Although you can work in the building industry without a formal qualification, it’s still important to get qualified and invest in your education. This is because unqualified tradies will be limited in the roles they can take, such as a labourer, a concreter, or a painter. But, with experience, qualification, and the right licence type, you’ll be able to charge significantly more for your services. In fact, you could earn up to $25,000 above the average wage if you are a qualified tradie.

Source: Canstar

2. Learn how to supervise and manage your own construction projects

You might have plenty of building skills and experience, but do you know how to supervise a project or work as a leader for a big company? Studying an online building course, like the Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) CPC50120 not only ensures your building skills are up to industry standard, you’ll also gain essential skills for starting your own business as a builder in the future.

3. Win more big-ticket projects

The building and construction industry is one of the largest sectors in the country, employing around 1.2 million people. That is a lot of people to compete with for work. Being a qualified builder is only going to help your career prospects. For example, Queensland’s construction industry is set to expand to $62 billion over the next five years, with 136 major projects in the pipeline.

More construction companies are outsourcing, largely due to greater access to specialists, and the ease of communicating with outsourced workers. You can take advantage of this shift to outsourcing by being an experience and qualified builder.

4. Become eligible to apply for your licence

Most importantly, education is needed to become a builder because you’ll need to complete a qualification to meet the technical requirements to get your builders licence. Becoming a licensed builder is different in each state and territory, but every authority will require you to have industry qualifications. Without a builders licence, you won’t have legal or insurance protection and could potentially miss out on growing your income.

Whether you are new to the tools and looking for an online building course to gain more skills or knowledge, or you have the experience and want to use that to gain a qualification to earn more money or apply for your licence, fill out the form below to speak to one of our Education Consultants today and find the right course for you.

Sources: Canstar, Infrastructure Magazine