Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

More support for women in male dominated industries

Women will be better supported to break into traditionally male-dominated industries following the launch today of a new toolkit for employers.

Minister for the Status of Women Julie Collins said the toolkit provides practical assistance to attract and retain women into industries that have traditionally been dominated by men.

“The toolkit is a fantastic resource that the Gillard Government was happy to contribute $50,000 towards,” Ms Collins said.

“We know it is money well spent and I congratulate the Australian Human Rights Commission for their initiative in bringing this worthwhile project to fruition.”

Ms Collins said equality between women and men lies at the heart of the Gillard Government’s broader commitment to build a stronger economy and a fairer society.

“The toolkit forms a part of Australia’s commitment to the Equal Futures Partnership, an international commitment to expanding opportunities for women launched in New York last year by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” Ms Collins said.

“Prime Minister Julia Gillard signed Australia up as a founding member of the Equal Futures Partnership in recognition of the need to improve women’s economic, civil and political participation.

“Getting more women into male-dominated industries is an essential component of addressing future skills shortages, as well as improving gender pay equity which continues to hover at around 17 per cent meaning women are more vulnerable to poverty in old age; are retiring with less superannuation and with a greater reliance than men on the age pension.

Ms Collins said the Gillard Government’s changes to superannuation will make a significant difference to the lives of working women and their families.

“From July millions of Australian women stand to benefit from the superannuation guarantee rate which will gradually increase from 9 to 12 per cent with the Government’s Low Income Superannuation Contribution set to benefit a further 2.1 million women,” Ms Collins said.

“There’s no question that Tony Abbott’s plans to axe superannuation savings and delay the increase in superannuation guarantee will hit working women the hardest.

“This Labor Government has a strong track record of achievements for women including our support of initiatives like the toolkit we’ve launched today.

“Labor’s priority will always be to provide genuine choices for Australian women, at work and in retirement.”

Minister for the Status of Women Julie Collins launched the ‘Women in Male-Dominated Industries Toolkit of Strategies’ at an event in Sydney today with Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick.

The toolkit is available the Australian Human Right’s Commission’s website. You can follow the toolkit launch on the Twitter hashtag #WomenInIndustry.