How Australia Is Tipping The Scales In Male-Dominated Industries

Less than a year ago the Australian Government showed us that it was taking greater strides in encouraging equal female representation in the workplace, particularly in male-dominated industries such as construction, utilities and mining.

The Australian Human Rights Commission released its publication, “Women in Male-Dominated Industries: A Toolkit of Strategies” online, in May of 2013, with the aim of providing organisations within these industries with practical yet effective suggestions and solutions for how to recruit, retain, and develop women who find themselves in what are traditionally male-dominated roles.

The toolkit also includes an online interactive discussion forum.

Why The Toolkit Was Created

The presence of women is an absolute necessity if organisations are to tap into the best variety of talent that will contribute towards a stronger Australian economy.

Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner and contributor to the toolkit, Elizabeth Broderick, has had personal experience with working in a male-dominated workforce, having spent time working with Australia’s Defence Force. Ms Broderick believes that the strategies and suggestions that she was able to draw from that experience have applications outside of her own personal development and could help organisations in the recruitment and retention of female workers.

“This is not merely a report, but an interactive website developed to encourage dialogue, engagement, and sharing of approaches about increasing women’s representation in male-dominated industries,” she said.

What To Expect From This Toolkit

Broderick and the Australian Human Rights Commission designed this toolkit with the goal of helping organisations in male-dominated industries to develop and implement constructive and sustainable strategies that ensure fair female representation in the workplace.

The toolkit provides a variety of examples and different workplace strategies and mechanisms for four key areas of employment:

* attracting women to these jobs,

* how to recruit the best employee for the job,

* employee retention strategies, and

* how to develop the employee in that job role.

What really makes this toolkit effective is that the examples and suggestions given have been tried, tested, and proven. They have all been implemented both nationally and internationally by different organisations, and are based on interviews and desk-based research, as well as interviews with different employees, HR practitioners, and leaders from companies who are involved in male-dominated industries.

While the toolkit does provide a number of helpful suggestions and ongoing support through an online forum, there is no a “one-size fits all” approach to increasing female engagement in these industries. Organisations will need to take the time to consider what suggestions and ideas are appropriate for their specific workplace, and how to best implement them so that the needs of the staff and business are met.

For further information here is the Toolkit website address: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/women-male-dominated-industries-toolkit-strategies-2013

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