12 Oct Why we believe in Women in Contracting
I saw a great article this week from Angela Priestley of Women’s Agenda (if you’re interested in learning more about women in leadership, they have a great blog).
Angela’s piece was a summary of a recent speech she gave at the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards luncheon. She posed a great question to her audience: why do we need an awards program that specifically acknowledges emerging female leaders?
Her response was magnificent, so I thought I’d highlight some quotes from her article, where she answers the above question:
- For the same reason we need a publication dedicated to telling stories about the careers of women, to profiling those challenging the way we work, and offering perspectives from female leaders that might otherwise go unheard. A publication that can name 1000 women for every recruiter, or head hunter or conference organiser who claims they can’t find one
- Because we continue to live and work in a world where women’s voices are ignored, silenced or never have an option to speak in the first place
- Because we continue to open newspapers to see men dominating the business sections, where a journalist can quote four to five sources for a story without including a single woman
- Because we continue to see major business conferences that are dominated by men
- And because we continue to see women grossly underrepresented in Parliaments, with just 18 of the Liberal Government’s 84 MPs female, and where a former prime minister only recently said women have “limits on their capacity” to serve in such roles.
MEA’s Women in Contracting program exists for all of these reasons, and for so many more. It exists because young girls have trouble going into an electrical trade. It exists to celebrate the hard work of women trying to change that, women like Penny Petridis, the Female Tradie (find out more about Penny Petridis here). It exists because NCVER has reported that women made up only 82,830 of the 295,300 apprenticeship agreements in the system – that’s just 28 per cent. It exists because the gender pay gap is at the highest it’s ever been, so much so that one of our major banks has even released videos on the topic.
But mostly, Women in Contracting exists to recognise the hard work that women in the contracting industries do both on the tools and behind the scenes in businesses across Australia. Because until we start creating the conversation on opportunities for women in the trades, those opportunities won’t exist.
We’d love to hear your stories about being a tradie. We’d also love to hear stories from women working behind the scenes to build successful businesses. If you’ve got a story to share, please do not hesitate to write a guest post for this blog, or to email us for an interview.
Here’s to the next conversation.
This post was written by MEA’s Marketing Projects Advisor, Rachelle Forbes. If you have a story to submit, please email us today.