To address the systemic barriers that hinder women’s employment in Australia, Minister for Women Katy Gallagher is pushing to allocate nearly $16m to projects designed to boost women’s workforce participation in the country.
More than 5,000 women are expected to benefit from six projects proposed by Senator Gallagher, which aims to increase women’s representation in leadership and promote the government’s goal of attaining gender equality.
The project’s objective of addressing the structural barriers that impede women’s employment and advancement into leadership will influence policymaking in key industries and make workplaces safer for women.
1. Women in Seafood Australasia will raise women’s participation as leaders within the male-dominated seafood industry. This project will promote the livelihood of about 1,000 women. They will receive leadership, mentoring, and entrepreneurship training. The project will also include an action research plan that aims to implement change in the seafood industry to inspire more women to participate.
2. The Tranby Aboriginal Co-operative project will confront the barriers that First Nations women face in joining the workforce and advancing into leadership positions. This community-led project will boost First Nations women’s participation through culturally safe storytelling and mentoring. The goal is to increase leadership and confidence through long-term connections. It will benefit about 365 women and its goal is to empower these First Nations women, their families, and their communities.
3. The Global Sisters project will offer 2,000 women with the opportunity to participate in economic programs and self-employment by forming a pipeline of new micro-business. It aims to produce the female CEOs, employers, and business leaders of the future. It will support business education, ideation, coaching, and connections with a network of leading companies in Australia.
4. Diversity Council Australia’s project will face the systemic barriers that limit linguistically and culturally diverse women’s progression as leaders in their industry. The program will work with 375 women in middle management to audit barriers to career development and progression and apply change interventions and training to remove these barriers.
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5. The project from People with Disability Australia will handle the under-representation of women with disability in the workforce and in top-level positions. The project will work with1,500 women through a program of webinars, training, and e-learning modules. Mentorship that is supported by the employer, employees, and recruitment organisations will provide a network of opportunities for women to enter and re-enter the workforce in safe and well-equipped workplaces.
6. Lastly, the University of New South Wales will offer scholarships, resources, and a mentorship program to attract more women to work and study in the male-dominated construction industry. It will engage female high school students, women taking up degrees in construction, and women who are working in the construction industry. It will benefit 200 female students and more than 3,000 high school students. It will empower them to work in construction and progress into leadership roles across the construction industry.