PRESS RELEASE: Connexis Continues the Call to Recruit More Women

Prue Feely News, Ultimit / Women in Infrastructure

Wellington 16 October 2019:  New Zealand’s Infrastructure Industry continues the call for more women to be employed in trade roles. Connexis is a key partner of the Women in Trades Research consortia that released their key findings from three years of research.

Women experience five key barriers to joining trades where they are traditionally under-represented, including lack of knowledge about opportunities and pathways, lack of work experience, finding employers willing to work with women, male-dominated workplace culture and the lack of sector or workplace support for women.

Connexis Chief Executive Toby Beaglehole says, “Connexis is incredibly proud to have been leading the way to address these barriers through our Ultimit – Women in Infrastructure initiative that was launched in partnership with our Electrical Supply partners and the Ministry of Women in 2010. 

“Through this initiative Connexis has developed the successful Girls with Hi-Vis® (GWHV) campaign, run annually. The nationwide programme sees companies in the Civil, Energy, Telecommunication and Water industries open their doors for a day, specifically to young women who are interested in knowing more about the industry and the career opportunities available.”

The overarching objective of this campaign is to raise awareness and increase the number of women working in trade and technical roles in the Infrastructure Industries. “During this event hundreds of young women have experienced first hand what it is like to work in the world of infrastructure with some of our current female trainees having joined through such an event,” Toby says.

“Women only account for about 8 percent of employees in our Infrastructure industry – that means women are heavily under-represented and are a huge potential employment pool.  While our employers understand the value women bring to their teams, the issue is that companies are still struggling to convince women to explore these options.”

The research released last night resulted in three reports looking from both the female employee and the employer perspective.  The research also provides personas on what a successful woman in trades looks like. 

“These reports provide invaluable information for our companies that are actively seeking a more diverse workplace with more women represented in their trade and technical roles.  We’re excited to be able to release this information to our industry in partnership with the other consortia members,” Toby says.

View the research findings here.

The Women in Trades Research was undertaken by UMR Research, Kylie Trafford, Mark Williams, Loretta Garrow, and Scarlatti, in partnership with Connexis, BCITO, Skills Org, Competenz, MITO, NAWIC, The Southern Initiative, Auckland Māori and Pasifika Trades Training, Kelston Girls’ College, MIT and the Industry Training Federation. It was supported by the Ministry for Women and Ako Aotearoa – New Zealand’s National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

Caption:  Consortia Members from Industry Training Organisations and Ako Aotearoa with Hon Julie Anne Genter, Minister for Women.