Australia has highly gender-segregated workforces. Women are overrepresented in low-paid and insecure jobs and highly underrepresented in other industries, such as manufacturing. This is partly due to entrenched stereotypes about the type of careers that men and women can have. These stereotypes can influence young people’s decisions and perceptions about study and work from a young age. 

‘The Australian Furniture Association has provided feedback on strategies to support and create safe work environments for diverse women, in recognition that some groups of women face additional barriers to participation,’ states AFA CEO, Patrizia Torelli.

These groups include migrant, refugee and multicultural women, First Nations women, LGBTIQ+ women, single parents, women in regional and rural areas, women with disabilities, mature-aged and older women, and women with caring responsibilities.

There are many factors that can affect the decisions women make about their education, training and career progression. And the key triggers in both perpetuating the myths or turning the tide for positive change can be money, members, marketing, media, and men.

Industry-specific initiatives are needed to address issues unique to particular sectors, including supporting women’s participation and improved pay equity in majority-men sectors such as manufacturing, construction and initiatives in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Victorian Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins, welcomed the release of a discussion paper that marks a crucial part of the Allan Labor Government’s response to the Inquiry into Economic Equity for Victorian Women.

‘Increasing women’s participation in male-dominated industries, especially in trade-based and leadership roles, will help women fully contribute to our state’s economy towards a more equal state,’ said Minister Hutchins.

Readers are urged to complete a short survey based on the publicly available discussion paper HERE.

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