Push for women in trades to be an election issue

Madi Moriarty working on a job site.
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A national organisation wants to drill into the government the importance of women in trades ahead of the Federal Election.

Tradeswomen Australia is calling for all political parties to highlight initiatives and prioritise funding to increase female employment in trades.

“There is only two per cent of women in trades in Australia which shows a big gap in terms of opportunity and the level of awareness that this can be a great career,” Tradeswomen Australia CEO, Janet Cribbes said.

Madi Moriarty working on a job site.

“Women in trades get the job done, have great attention to detail and are reliable, but we need more support in workplaces and encouragement to make trades more accessible for women.”

Madi Moriarty from St Clair has also been advocating to normalise more women working on job sites.

The fourth-year apprentice carpenter said her experience working as a tradeswoman has been varied.

“I started with an apprenticeship in cabinet making but had a boss that gave me no training and when I approached him about some of the guys being inappropriate, things didn’t go well,” Ms Moriarty said.

“After a year I moved to a new company in Penrith and switched to carpentry and I am now in a great environment. I love my job and have found a really cool passion.”

While she is happily chipping away at her apprenticeship, Ms Moriarty said there are barriers that need to be addressed to encourage other lady tradies.

“For me one main problem, which is discouraging, is no sanitary bins on site, which is mandatory for everybody else in workplaces and has been a big struggle,” she said.

“The other is having more healthy HR teams as usually having to speak to a boss who is a middle-aged man about other middle-aged men being inappropriate is not ideal.”

The carpenter now promotes women in trades via her Instagram that has 12,500 followers.

“I get a lot of women messaging me on my Instagram @sydneychippychick realising they can be in a trade after seeing videos and I will always help them and try to improve the industry for the next generation,” she said.

The NSW Government also announced that it would be launching the landmark Women’s Economic Opportunities Review and Expert Reference Panel.

The panel would focus on empowering women and improving their economic opportunities including in trades.

Visit www.tradeswomenaus.com.

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