A new toolkit designed to help organisational leaders increase female representation in male-dominated industries was recently launched by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The toolkit provides practical assistance to attract and retain women into industries that have traditionally been dominated by men, including mining, utilities and construction.

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick said the under representation of women in industries considered to be male-dominated was an issue that is not only undermining gender equality in Australia, but is having negative effects on industry performance and our economy.

In Australia’s general workforce, women represent almost 46% of employees. However, in the industries of construction, mining, and utilities, women account for only 12%, 15%, and 23% of employees respectively.

Recent figures suggest that increasing women’s employment rates could boost Australia’s GDP by 11%.

“Our toolkit is divided into the areas of attraction, recruitment, retention and development of women’s skills in industries that have traditionally remained dominated by male leadership and employees”, Commissioner Broderick said.

“Users can work through or contribute to discussion in all four areas, or any of the four that are most relevant to them.”

In developing the Toolkit, the Australian Human Rights Commission, with the support of the Minister for the Status of Women and FaCHSIA, brought together members of these male-dominated industries to gather information on their experience and knowledge.

AWRA program manager Gina Meibusch, who provided input to the new toolkit during a roundtable discussion last year, said the resource industry welcomed this initiative.

For more information about the Australian Human Rights Commission toolkit, click here.