The Victorian government is calling for ideas from employers and community members on how to boost women’s participation and advancement in manufacturing and energy industries.
Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins said the government is committed to increasing women’s participation in male-dominated industries, and is seeking feedback on a discussion paper that outlines a number of key areas where action is needed.
“Increasing women’s participation in male-dominated industries, especially in trade-based and leadership roles, will help women fully contribute to our state’s economy, towards a more equal state,” Hutchins said.
“We’re supporting these industries to not only address barriers, attract and retain more women employees, but also provide opportunities for women to thrive.”
The discussion paper identifies a number of key areas where action is needed, including:
- Creating a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture
- Removing barriers to entry and advancement
- Promoting flexible work arrangements
The discussion paper also seeks views on specific initiatives that could be implemented to boost women’s participation and advancement in manufacturing and energy, such as:
- Mentoring and sponsorship programs
- Leadership development programs
- Targeted recruitment programs
- Industry-specific campaigns
Hutchins said she is looking forward to hearing from the manufacturing and energy sectors about how the government can support more women to carve successful careers in these industries.
“I encourage employers and community members to share their ideas on how we can create a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture, remove barriers to entry and advancement, and promote flexible work arrangements,” she said.
How SMBs can boost women’s participation and advancement
There are a number of things that SMBs can do to boost women’s participation and advancement in manufacturing and energy industries, including:
- Review and update recruitment and promotion processes: Make sure that your recruitment and promotion processes are fair and unbiased. This could involve using gender-neutral language, using blind resumes, and having multiple interviewers.
- Provide training on unconscious bias: Unconscious bias can influence hiring and promotion decisions without us even realizing it. Provide training to your staff on unconscious bias to help them identify and address their own biases.
- Create a more inclusive workplace culture: Promote gender equality and diversity at all levels of your organization. This could involve creating a diversity and inclusion council, setting targets for women’s representation in leadership roles, and organizing events and activities that promote gender equality.
- Provide opportunities for women to develop their skills and knowledge: Encourage women to take up training and professional development opportunities. This could involve providing financial assistance, or allowing women to take time off work to attend training courses.
- Offer flexible work arrangements: Flexible work arrangements can help women to balance their work and personal lives. This could include part-time work, job sharing, and telecommuting.