Vic gov’t boosts support for women in manufacturing and energy industries

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In a continued effort to promote gender equality in traditionally male-dominated sectors, the Victorian Government has opened applications for a new round of grants aimed at supporting women in the energy and manufacturing industries.

Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins announced an additional $1.3 million in funding for the Women in Energy and Manufacturing Funding Program, reinforcing the government’s commitment to breaking down barriers and fostering equality in the workplace.

The funding program, which focuses on attracting, recruiting, and retaining women in historically male-dominated workforces, has already made a significant impact, the government said in a news release.

The first round of grants supported various initiatives, including mentoring programs for women conducted by the National Association of Women in Operations through virtual group and one-on-one sessions.

Additionally, school awareness campaigns for careers in solar energy were run by Australian Women in Solar Energy.

The program also backed the Women in Trades project by the Australian Manufacturing Union, which organized trade demonstration events, employer site visits, and career expos featuring companies like Nestle.

The initiative not only seeks to address gender imbalances but also aims to alleviate skill shortages in the energy and manufacturing industries.

Currently, women represent only 32 per cent of Victoria’s manufacturing sector and 33 per cent of the electricity, gas, water, and waste services industries. The numbers are even lower for women working in trades.

The Women in Energy and Manufacturing Funding Program is a crucial component of the Labor Government’s response to the Inquiry into Economic Equity for Victorian Women.

By supporting and empowering women to pursue and excel in careers in energy and manufacturing, the government hopes to create a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

Minister Hutchins expressed the significance of programs like this, underscoring the government’s commitment to ensuring that women from various age groups, backgrounds, and identities have access to the careers they desire.

“Attracting, recruiting, and retaining more women in Victoria’s energy and manufacturing industries will also help these sectors grow and thrive through a period of rapid transformation,” the minister noted.

Encouraging all interested organisations to apply, she stressed the collective effort needed to empower more women to secure desired roles in these traditionally male-dominated industries.

Applications for this grant round will close on 20 February.

For more details and to apply, interested organizations can visit this website.