This International Women’s Day, and every other day of the year, She Works strives to #BreaktheBias.
We’re disrupting the gender stereotypes that exist in the workplace and repeatedly fail or disadvantage women.
We partner with employers in male-dominated industries, including ICT, Transport and Construction, and support them to remove barriers and influence important cultural change, so they can attract and retain more women in these fields.
We are also playing an important role in educating women on career opportunities they never thought would be open to them. We co-facilitate Career Information Sessions and workplace/site tours regularly.
We know gender bias and stereotyping begin at birth and continue to be reinforced over the course of our lives. Societal structures and processes that frame our family and work life affect all genders, however expert research reveals that women are at a greater disadvantage across all areas of their life in the longer-term.
Our idea of what “women’s jobs” are is influenced from a very early age, affecting what girls and women study and ultimately the careers women go into. According to a report by the OECD in 2018 (Bridging the Digital Gender Divide), at 15 years of age, on average, only 0.5% of girls wish to become ICT professionals, compared to 5% of boys.
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) paper ‘Different genders, different lives’, reports there is not a single moment of inequality that leads to women’s lifelong disadvantage, particularly in careers, but the cumulative effect of a lifetime’s exposure to gender stereotypes, and their hampering effects on women’s opportunities in education and paid employment.
She Works is helping to change these biases by working with both employers and women looking for work.
Right now we know there has never been a better time for women to get into tech. With worldwide skill shortages and the great resignation gaining momentum here is Australia, it really is a candidate’s market.
For women, technical or tech-enabled roles provide lots of opportunity and flexibility, but currently there are only 38.8% females employed in the Information Media and Telecommunications sector compared to 61.2% males (ABS, 2021).
This figure has risen very slowly over the years and there continue to be challenges and barriers for women and girls entering this field.
Through our partnership with Microsoft, we are upskilling women to take on tech, and tech enabled roles. Together, we are providing access and support to women experiencing disadvantage to free digital upskilling learning resources.
We are also collaborating with Deloitte and the Salesforce Talent Alliance to provide a program to women which builds their business and Salesforce technical skills, along with access to mentoring.
Lastly, we have partnered with the Spark Consortium on the North East Link Major Roads Project where we will connect women with opportunities on this project for years to come.
Having created a safe and trusting environment for women over the last 17 years, women feel supported and have the confidence to grow their digital skills or take the leap to try out a new career.
Whether you are a woman looking for an alternative career or an employer wanting to access talented female candidates, to find out more about how we can support you to #BreaktheBias go to https://fittedforwork.org/she-works/.