The Victorian Government has announced a new policy that requires more representation for women in the building industry.

The Building Equality Policy (BEP) is a first in Australia and is aimed to combat gender stereotypes in the nation’s most male-dominated business.

The BEP will cover new government projects, and requires female representation in at least three per cent of each trade role, seven per cent of each non-trade position and 35 per cent of management, supervisor and specialist labour jobs.

In effect 1 January 2022, the BEP also requires that four per cent of labour hours for apprentices and trainees will be needed to be performed by females.

The Victorian Government has invested $3.5 million to reinforce the implementing of the policy and an additional $1.5 million for the delivery of medium and long-term action from the Women in Construction Strategy 2019-22.

Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, stated, “We must inform women that building is a strong career choice – and these targets will guarantee women are proactively included and remain in the industry, with better career pathways.”

More diversity strengthens our workplaces, she said – plus more representation of women in construction will be to the benefit of all in the industry.

CEO of Master Builders Victoria and Acting Chairperson of the BICC, Rebecca Casson, stated, “More females are active in building now than yesterday, but they still comprise just 2.5 per cent of all building and construction trades workers in Victoria.”

She said the sector must change to ensure a sustainable future.

Over the past three decades, women have made up between two and three per cent of the construction workforce, with the coronavirus pandemic affecting females in regards to their workforce participation, employment and economic security.

The new requirements are being debuted through Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework (SPF) for works estimated at $20 million or more during the lifespan of the project.

A two-year transitional implementation period and action on non-compliance will start in from January 2024.

Victoria’s Building Industry Consultative Council (BICC) has worked collaboratively on the development of the policy and will continue to provide support and guidance to help industry understand their obligations and comply.



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