Only 3% of state construction workers are women
With less than three per cent of the Queensland construction industry being made up of women the industry is campaigning for action and equal representation.
Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) has launched their 2018 Women in Construction report just in time for Queensland Women's Week and International Women's Day.
CSQ CEO Brett Schimming is unimpressed with the lack of progress the construction industry is making.
"The report calls out how it's not about the industry or how hard the work can be,” Mr Schimming said.
"It's about the culture that exists on construction sites....we need to address this issue. Because the culture is not seen as supportive, it doesn't acknowledge that women like to operate in this workplace with different values or different languages.
"You've got to remember that men and women are different and go about things differently....it's a good thing.”
The report identifies the lack of diversity and presents goals for the industry.
"It's a male and blokey environment,” said Mr Schimming.
"The workplaces are traditionally male dominated....the language and behaviour of men is exclusive to women.
"The way the workers talk to each other and treat each other is unattractive to women....they don't like the non-verbal interactions of the male workers.”
Mr Schimming said the way to address this is to bring awareness.
"If we don't talk about it the industry will not get better,” Mr Schimming said.
CSQ aims to achieve equal representation by 2026.
"We're going to spend the next few months promoting the results of our report....then we're going to sit down with the leaders and workshop and figure out the tailored conversations we're going to have per sector of the construction industry,” Mr Schimming said.
"Then we are going to start by campaigning and work-shopping to produce specific action plans so women become more interested.”
Mr Schimming believes women are a great source of untapped skill labour that need to be considered.
He acknowleged the possibility of a push back from male construction workers.
"Sometimes as we take groups of people and expose them to diversity it can be worrying how people respond....you've got to take the male population on the journey so they understand why it's a good thing for the industry,” Mr Schimming said.
"Men have to lead the change because they work there.
"I think its going to be incredibly challenging....any thing that's new and challenges peoples views will be confronting.”
The CSQ report can be found here: http://csq.org.au/csq/media/Common/publications/CSQ2531-Women-in-Construction_1.pdf