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Women to make up 20 per cent of construction workers by 2040

Posted on Mar 15, 2023

Women could account for almost one in five construction workers by 2040.

This increase will be essential to fill the 26,000 estimated vacancies.

Last year we commissioned a report into the future labour force requirements for the industry.

This morning Incolink Chief Operating Officer Ashleigh Connolly officially launched Incolink's new report titled: Building the Future: Why Women are Key to Victoria’s Next Building Boom.

Partnering with The Insights Centre we surveyed hundreds of women in different roles in the industry.

We asked them questions about their current working conditions, career opportunities and their perceptions of the industry.


The findings

The report paints a picture of an industry where women thrive, with 87% of women saying they want to stay in the industry long-term, 73% revealing they would recommend a job in construction to their female friends, and 71% claiming that the industry is improving in terms of support and opportunities for women.

87% of women saying they want to stay in the industry long-term

Around three-quarters of respondents said they felt their co-workers were respectful towards women.

However, balancing work with family and inflexible hours emerged as the biggest barriers to women staying in construction. For those women who reported they were planning to leave the industry, the top two reasons they provided were balancing work and family responsibilities (67%) and inflexible rostering or inflexible hours (44%).

We look forward to continued collaboration with industry, unions, and the government to ensure that interventions are effectively targeted to increase the number of women in the industry over the next two decades.

Speaking about the reports findings Ashleigh Connolly said “I’m pleased to see that women currently engaged in the industry in Victoria feel positive about their workplace culture, gender equity and the opportunities they have on the whole, but it is clear that there is more to be done”.

“Companies that employ more women have been found to benefit from fresh perspectives and ideas, they are often more innovative, have improved staff retention, and greater profitability”.

Ashleigh said promoting more women to enter the industry – and ensuring they remained in the industry – was critical to meeting the sector’s current and future workforce requirements.

“Having struggled to boost the proportion of female construction workers for many decades, we have recently welcomed some targeted interventions, such as quotas on major government infrastructure contracts and Victoria’s Building Equality Policy, which will support us to meet the projected growth targets outlined in this report,”

“The encouraging news is that even modest growth in women’s participation will have a significant impact over time, delivering our industry with the strong and diverse workforce that it needs.”

Speaking about the findings Bill Alexandrakis, General Manager Building Victoria at Lendlease said “Incolink’s report shows how improving women’s participation is vital to addressing labour shortages, while improving the culture of construction to ensure worksites are inclusive and diverse, offering a pathway for women to advance their careers.

Incolink’s report shows how improving women’s participation is vital to addressing labour shortages, while improving the culture of construction to ensure worksites are inclusive and diverse, offering a pathway for women to advance their careers.

With only 12 per cent of the construction workforce women, encouraging more women to participate in the industry makes it better, stronger and more productive, while helping to address the shortfall of some 105,000 additional construction workers needed to deliver Australia’s pipeline”.

Download the report

You can view the full report below.

Media Coverage

Below you can view a selection of media coverage for the Building the Future report.


Australian Financial Review


7 News


ABC News Radio

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