Discrimination Against Women in Trades Area

….. Women apprentices/trainees in the core trades of carpentry, automotive and electrical has remained less than 2% for over twenty-five years. Managing Director of Tradeswomen Australia, Fiona McDonald today called for an end to the discrimination against women in the trades area saying it was a major threat to the economy and an issue that should be on the agenda as part of the national recovery strategy. Next Tuesday Tradeswomen Australia will stage an online national summit on how to lead a team through crisis, and leadership for gender equality with two of the most eminent experts and commentators on these issues. The online Summit is open to the industry and business and is one of a series of programs providing an interactive opportunity for organisations, small business, and tradespeople to be involved.


SPEAKERS Suzi Finkelstein CEO of Women & Leadership Australia Dr Terrance FitzsimmonsSnr. Lecturer in Leadership Theory for The University of Queensland Australia and Managing Director of Australian Gender Equality Council   Ms McDonald said the National Skills Needs List (2019) lists 65 trades that are experiencing national skills shortages.  Of those, 62 can be classed as male-dominated trades; only 3 could be classed as female-dominated. “Given more than 50% of the Australian population is represented by women, it is time to utilise this national skills base which would lift national employment and productivity. Barriers to increasing the number of women employed in the trades have been identified as:

a) Lack of information and engagement about trade with career advisors and secondary school girls

b) Poor workplace culture and social misconception make trades unattractive as a career path

c) No structure support systems for women working in male-dominated trade industries.

Ms McDonald said in 2012, the Grattan Institute found that if there was an extra 6% of women in the workforce, we could add up to $25 billion, or approximately 1%, to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product. * ²


Media Enquiries: Ron Smith, Media Communications – Mobile: 0417 329 201


*¹ Women bring a positive impact to the trade workforce creating a culture and behavioural change, FACS NSW Occasional Paper ‘Women in Trades – the Missing 48%’ March 2013.

* ² Towards 2025 An Australian Government Strategy to Boost Women’s Workforce Participation


Guest Commentators

Suzi Finkelstein

CEO of Women & Leadership Australia

Dr Terrance Fitzsimmons

Snr. Lecturer in Leadership Theory for

The University of Queensland Australia and

Managing Director of Australian Gender Equality Council

Hosted by Andrew Gill For over 25 years, Andrew Gill has immersed himself in events. His formative years in performance, sports entertainment and media paved the way to corporate and public theatre, event production and direction. He works with leading global and Australian brands along with government agencies, not-for-profit organisations, educational institutions and SMEs. Andrew also acts as Business Stagecraft and Screen Director for corporate and government organisations focusing on developing skills and confidence in front of a camera or live audience.
Co-Hosted by Fiona McDonald Executive Director Tradeswomen Australia Fiona McDonald’s career began as a light vehicle apprentice. During her apprenticeship and time working in the automotive industry she identified a lack of support, promotion and opportunities for women in trade industries. Fiona values workplace diversity and works with employers to help them achieve benefits such as higher employee engagement, improved performance, greater innovation, retention of talent, improved employee wellbeing and remove unlawful behaviours such as harassment and discrimination.