A report has revealed that women lack the confidence to pursue high paying trade professions in male dominated fields – leading to a widening pay gap between the genders.
The Viable Work report unveiled in Adelaide last week (September 27) urged training organisations and employers to help build confidence among Australian women to take on trade apprenticeships, News Limited reported.
Employment participation minister Kate Ellis said encouraging more females to embark on trade careers would help balance salaries between men and women.
The report suggested “sustained action” must be carried out by employers and schools to steer more women into non-traditional trades such as engineering, construction and plumbing.
Recommendations included building confidence through the use of specific tools and hands-on technology at school, making salary information, jobs descriptions and applications available to women, as well as increasing the number of female industry speakers and trade figures who speak at education institutions, and more recognition of female skills that are transferable across industries.
Heightening apprentice support and mentoring for female students would help more women complete their training and launch careers in non-traditional trades.
The Queensland government has already jumped on the initiative, launching its Supporting Women Scholarships scheme in August.
As part of the program, 500 scholarships of up to $20,000 are available over a four-year period for women to embark on careers in male dominated industries.
“These scholarships help address Queensland’s skills needs and will give more Queensland women the chance to work in agricultural science, architecture, engineering, geological science, building services and information technology,” state minister for education, training and employment John-Paul Langbroek said.