To mark this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) on Wednesday, 8 March, not-for-profit organisation VERTO has teamed up with ambassador, Lucinda Shilcock, to shine a light on women in trades and encourage more women to follow a trade career path.
Ms Shilcock, an electrician from Newcastle and proud Indigenous woman of the Guringai nation, believes the theme for IWD 2023, #EmbraceEquity, should inspire more businesses to realise the benefits of a diverse workforce.
“The number of women starting trade apprenticeships has grown over the past five years, but not fast enough,” she said.
“The challenge is getting women on to work sites, as they represent only 11 per cent of those who complete their apprenticeships.
“We need more awareness and visibility of women in trades. We need to challenge stereotypes and address myths about the capability of women in trade-based work.
“This International Women’s Day, we will not only be celebrating the incredible achievements of all tradeswomen in the past 12 months, but we also hope to educate and empower organisations to consider greater gender diversity,” Ms Shilcock said.
VERTO Chief Executive Officer, Ron Maxwell, said IWD was also an opportunity to highlight some of the many success stories of women who are breaking new ground and building fulfilling careers in male-dominated industries.
“At VERTO, we have helped many women just like Lucinda follow their dreams into a trade career in everything from electrical to cabinet making,” he said.
“IWD gives us a chance to acknowledge and celebrate these achievements because many women continue to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about their chosen career path and, in doing so, pave the way for others.
“When female school graduates are thinking about careers and their next steps after high school, they shouldn’t be afraid to think outside the square.
“We need to start seeing non-traditional trades as viable career options for women because they are.
“My advice to any young woman who is considering a future in trades is to seek out rounded career advice and speak to people who are experts. Ask them to help you identify options that suit your interests and use online tools like VERTO’s CareerGate to explore a wide range of options,” Mr Maxwell said.
VERTO is a community owned, not-for-profit organisation delivering a range of apprenticeship, community support, employment and training services to assist individuals, employers and industries. We can be found in over 40 locations across the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria. For more information, visit verto.org.au.