• CCN editor, Sandra Rossi
    CCN editor, Sandra Rossi

Gender diversity is the key to addressing Australia’s critical skills shortage.

Analysis from Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) shows that occupations with skills shortages are likely to have significant gender imbalance in their workforce, particularly in male-dominated occupations. 

It is occupations where women make up less than 20 per cent of the workforce that are suffering the worst shortages.
A prime example is refrigeration and air conditioning where female technicians account for around three per cent of the workforce.

The analysis from JSA shows that shortages are less common in occupations that don’t have such a large gender imbalance in their ranks. This is a systemic problem for workers, business, and the economy.

It is also a problem that is at its worst in the apprenticeship workforce.

Although the proportion of women in trade apprenticeships is slowly increasing, women are under-represented in almost all traditional trade occupations, representing 12.2 per cent of all trade apprentices.

Sadly, this situation is even mirrored in the boardroom which is remarkable because employing more women is the secret to better financial outcomes.

Organisations with at least three female board members are 15 per cent more likely to outperform their peers.

It’s clear that diversity matters and tackling this problem makes smart business sense.

Removing the obstacles and biases that sideline many workers is no longer just a social justice endeavour, it’s a business necessity.

According to higher education research, Aussie women are among the world’s most educated. More women are university graduates while certificate and diploma students are typically male.

This contributes to an underrepresentation of women in trades and technical roles. Closing the workforce participation gap between men and women—even by just half—would create an additional 500,000 skilled full-time workers.

This makes women our most untapped resource which is why CCN in partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Air Conditioners Australia (MHIAA) launched the Women in HVACR showcase. It is an opportunity to celebrate the women working in HVACR who are making a difference and leading the way for others to follow.

This is a showcase of success, proof that HVACR is an industry where women really can excel and establish rewarding careers. Meet 20 of the best in our 10-page showcase which begins on page 20 of the October/November edition of CCN. A special edition e-newsletter will be published tomorrow featuring the showcase. You can read the digital issue here: https://online.flipbuilder.com/YaffaMedia/nofq/#p=1