Females make up less than 2% of Tradespeople in the Construction Industry. We partner with training providers and employers to help women enter into a trade role, become qualified and be supported on their journey. We are Tradeswomen who are here to support our current and future Tradeswomen.
Founder Jo Farrell developed the foundation of Build Like A Girl from her own experience working as a female tradie in the building and construction industry. Jo wanted to develop something more than a program, she wanted to create a movement that is for women, run by women.
Established in 2020, Build Like a Girl began as a high-level forum between industry associations who actively advocate and implement real change. Building upon the core strengths of our industry partners, Build Like A Girl has become more than program. It's a movement driving change.
Build Like A Girl is different, because the women behind it all work in construction on the ground, and its founder is a carpenter. Only by having a true lived experience can you empathise with the challenges women face trying to enter a trade.
Build Like A Girl founder Jo Farrell.
Build Like A Girl is an organisation run by women in construction who are focused on getting more women into trades, helping them navigate a male dominated industry, and ensuring they have all the support they need to complete their apprenticeship.
We provide support, guidance and connections for apprentices, students, girls who have left school, women returning to work and any woman in a trade role, no matter where she is at in her career.
We know from experience that the drop out rate for apprentices is a whopping 44%. When a female apprentice needs our help, we want to make sure we are there to provide advice and guidance, as well as key mentoring and coaching support.
Build Like A Girl is a not-for-profit organisation that develops collaborative pre-apprenticeship and entry level programs, helping participants to find employment in a fulltime apprenticeship or trainee skilled role, as well as offering an inclusive and welcoming space for all women in trades. We will then continue mentoring, coaching, case management, networking and support for every individual. It's a model that seeks to enact real change in the industry by reinvesting money into training, education, mentoring and securing long term employment for a diverse range of women, including:
🧰 School leavers
🧰 Mature aged women
🧰 Women from low socio-economic backgrounds
🧰 Women from diverse multicultural backgrounds
🧰 Women with a disability
🧰 Women of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage
🧰 Returned Services Veterans
Our team will identify women in need of employment, support them through pre-apprenticeship training, resilience training and accredited Certificate III trade skills to grow confidence and understanding of trade opportunities. It will then assist them to access jobs with employer partners and enter employment with ongoing mentoring and a wide range of support.
Within the civil, building and construction industry, Build Like A Girl will:
🛠️ Increase recruitment and sustained engagement of women in skilled trade roles
🛠️ Mentor women actively engaged in skilled trade roles through collaborative support of employers and industry; increase retention and facilitate ongoing employment
🛠️ Build industry productivity, contributing to broader social and economic gains in priority sector workforces
🛠️Transform the industry, its participants and the culture of construction. Contribute to direct and flow-on economic growth
Our objectives are aligned to the ACT Women’s Action Plan Objective 2: "Fostering gender equity in Canberra workplaces, including through improved gender equality in leadership and workplace participation"
We seek to engage with all state and Territory governments to achieve their procurement and community value targets for diversity and equality.
Implement real change in the building and construction industry by coordinating programs for women-in-trades across Australia together in one holistic movement.
That every woman, regardless of age, ethnicity, income level or social status, can freely choose and enter into a trade apprenticeship in the building and construction industry.
We know engaging and retaining more women in trades requires a multi-faceted strategy that:
🧰 Is driven by the voices of women
🧰 Has a direct and collaborative interface between employers, employees, education providers, and industry to create changes in workplace culture to make trades inclusive for women
🧰 Generates a new perspective that enables equity and respect in the construction industry
🧰 Advocates strongly with government to establish realistic targets and quotas for female tradeswomen on building sites across Australia
🧰 Mandates equal pay and conditions for all women across all industry roles
We're bringing together peak industry bodies, group training providers, unions and affiliated organisations, to work collaboratively toward a common goal – employing and supporting more female tradeswomen. Our ambassadors are key to Build Like A Girl's success because they demonstrate representation. They are all women who are currently in different stages of their apprenticeship or training journey. They give Build Like A Girl guidance, support and insight to the industry and its obstacles, empowering us to be the best support possible.
Female participation as apprentices and trainees in the construction, automotive and electrical trades is less than 2%, if not less. Changing little over the last 25 years. Build Like A Girl aims to have at least 80 women in trade roles at the end of its first 3 years.
🛠️ In secondary school, there is a lack of information about careers in trades for girls
🛠️ Poor workplace culture and social misconception that often makes being in trades an unattractive career path
🛠️ No structured support systems for women in trade roles working in male-dominated trade industries
Previous campaigns to rectify the low levels of female participation have not resulted in substantial increases of female participation. Why?
Because they have not incorporated all of the relevant industry bodies needed to succeed.
The burden of higher recruitment and retention has been placed on women rather than the industry at large. Build Like A Girl is changing that.
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