We don’t just want to talk about getting more women into the construction industry, we actively want to help make it happen!
For so long the construction industry has been largely male dominated and it’s not hard to understand why. Many schools (particularly from a primary school level) don’t offer the opportunity for young girls to see that building, construction, woodwork, engineering etc is just as much for them as it is for boys. We want to change this…
At Alchemy, we want to foster a culture of equal opportunity; no matter what the person’s gender identification; supporting our staff in their goals is the most important thing to us. The gender disparity in construction is still enormous, with the industry average for female employees in Australia sitting at around 13%. With our aim of a 50/50 split within Alchemy by 2025, we have started a gender equality committee to come up with ideas to encourage more female and gender non-binary people into the industry.
One of these ideas includes our primary school program, Yes You Can. The stats show that by the time children, particularly girls, reach secondary school, they have already decided that the construction industry is not an option for them. So, we decided to start chipping at that glass ceiling from an earlier age!
“We just want to spark a connection in their minds that, “Hmm, maybe I can do that when I’m older.”
Enter the committee. Six of our talented staff members have volunteered to visit schools in Victoria armed with knowledge, experience and hard hats to educate children and help them to see that Yes You Can enter the construction industry, no matter who you are and where you come from. This program will be play-based and will focus on engineering and construction.
Alchemy Director Sarah-Anne explains, “The plan is that we will run a junior lesson and a senior lesson. It will be completely play-based and it’ll essentially be “Who wants to build a structure that holds the most stones, or can contain the most water?”, it will be a wee competition for them. There will then be another phase where we reference famous buildings in Victoria that they would recognise, like The Aquarium, Fed Square et cetera, and get them to think more deeply about the things they notice about these buildings, how they think they were built and so on. Then at the end of the program, we will drum home that construction opportunities are open for all kids, no matter their gender. We just want to spark a connection in their minds that, “Hmm, maybe I can do that when I’m older.”
We will be trialling the program with 4 primary schools a year and are aiming to reach 500 kids. Watch this space for, no doubt, some very cute content.