Master Builders Victoria (MBV) has encouraged more women to join the building and construction industry as it marked International Women’s Day with an industry breakfast attended by more than 400 people.

MBV is keen to achieve a greater representation of women in building and construction by fostering gender equity in the male-dominated industry.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force figures, there were almost 41,000 women employed in the building and construction industry in Victoria in November 2021.  

Nearly 1700 women in Victoria joined the building and construction industry in the three months to November 2021.

Whilst Victoria is leading the way, women still only make up 12.7 per cent (40,800) of all employees (320,886) in the building and construction industry.

Even more surprising, women comprise just 2.09 per cent (2395) of all construction trades workers in Victoria (114,429).

Hosting its 2022 International Women’s Day event at Centrepiece at Melbourne Park, MBV CEO Rebecca Casson said the industry needed to make more women aware that building and construction was an attractive and fulfilling career option.

“This year’s International Women’s Day has the global theme of break the bias,” Ms Casson said.  

“Building and construction has always been a male-dominated sector, but that needs to change if our industry is to reduce skills shortages and have a thriving and sustainable future. 

“More women are active in building and construction now than in the past, but they still make up just 2 per cent of construction trades workers in Victoria. 

“All roles form an important part of our industry and, whether you hold a hammer or a pen, Master Builders Victoria is committed to promoting gender equity in the workplace and on building and construction sites.  

“Increased diversity makes our workplaces stronger, and a greater representation of women in building and construction  benefits everyone in the industry.”

Victorian Small Business Commissioner Lynda McAlary-Smith, the guest speaker at today’s MBV Breakfast, said women’s rights are human rights.

“Everyone benefits from a world that is free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination,” she said.

“International Women’s Day brings together many voices across the world to say that inequality is not OK and the challenge of tackling that is a shared one.”

Multiplex Australasia Construction Manager Amy Sheane-Smith, Chairperson of the Building Industry Consultative Council’s Building Equality Committee, also participated in the panel discussion at the MBV industry breakfast.

“International Women’s Day provides us all with an opportunity to pause and reflect on what we can do as an individual to make our industry more inclusive and diverse, as well as how we can influence other organisations to shift their thinking on gender bias,” she said.

Danielle Woodcock, Enterprise Sales Manager at TPG Telecom, believes that breaking the bias begins with breaking unconscious assumptions and acknowledging that differences exist.

“At TPG Telecom, we embrace difference,” she said.

“Difference is celebrated.  

“Only by listening to unique perspectives can we truly achieve our purpose, which is to build meaningful relationships and support vibrant, connected communities.”

Duncan Bryce, Head of Builders Solutions at Bunnings, said International Women’s Day provides the opportunity for Bunnings to celebrate the contribution our female team members make to our business and to reaffirm our commitment to gender equality.

“We are extremely proud of all our amazing female leaders and the 27,000 women that have chosen to further their careers with us,” Mr Bryce said.

“International Women’s Day highlights the opportunities for women to grow their careers with Bunnings and creates a space to advance the discussion about how we can continue to improve”.

As a member of the Victorian Government’s Building Industry Consultative Council, Master Builders Victoria has been working with others on the Council to implement strategies to increase the participation of women in the building and construction industry:



Of the 2,395 Victorian women employed in construction trades, 847 were bricklayers and stonemasons, 550 were carpenters and joiners, 527 were floor finishers, and 472 were painting trades workers.