Women: unseen backbone of the building industry?
Right now, according to industry statistics, women are less than 2% of the Aussie trades workforce. But is that statistic really telling the whole story? The reality might be quite different.
Go on a typical building site in Australia, and you won’t see many women with tools in their hands. How many female carpenters, plumbers or plasterers have you met? Based on that sort of observation, you could easily get the impression that women don’t have a role in the construction industry.
Is there more to the story?
The industry statistics tell us that women make up 1.3% of the Australian trades workforce, but there’s a hidden reality that those stat’s don’t take into account. Women are the unseen, uncelebrated foundation of thousands of small building and trades businesses. Think about it: how many wives and girlfriends are answering phone calls for their tradie partners?
Taking down messages, booking jobs, arranging quotes and issuing invoices: women are the backbone of so many building companies. And what about all the unofficial, often unpaid accountants and bookkeepers? Most tradesmen have little time to pay attention to the weekly influx of invoices, cheques, bank statements and bills. It’s the women in their home-offices, diligently balancing the account books, working on spreadsheets and chasing unpaid invoices who keep small trades businesses afloat. Seen this way, it almost looks like women actually run the industry.
Overworked and undervalued.
Women might not be picking up tools in huge numbers yet but they play a vital role in the Aussie building industry, nonetheless. And many of them are working as full-time business administrators, while also raising a family.
Offsida wants to see more women getting access to building work. Offsida is an app that helps tradespeople and builders hire labourers and it’s making it easier than ever before for women to get those tool-in-hand jobs. The building industry is a blokey world, and the way people used to get jobs often relied on knowing the right people: you got work from your mates, the guys you played football with or met down the pub. Offsida’s app changes that. Anyone can sign up for free, and start hiring workers or applying for jobs.
Woman in the building industry: we want to hear about your experiences: connect with our Facebook community to share your stories.
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