Addressing this recruitment challenge is a driving factor behind Girls with Hi-Vis (GWHV), an annual initiative by Connexis, the ITO for the infrastructure sector held throughout the month of June. GWHV promotes the recruitment of women into the industry.
The nationwide programme saw companies in the civil, energy, telecommunication and water industries open their doors for a day in June, specifically to women interested in knowing more about what they do and the career opportunities available.
Females only account for about 4% of employees in the infrastructure Industries in general – an incredibly low figure given females make up 50% of the population, meaning that females are well under represented in the industry.
Connexis chief executive Peter Benfell says GWHV is a unique opportunity for women to find out about job options they had never previously considered or didn’t realise were available.
“Girls with Hi-Vis offers women of all ages and backgrounds, and from all over the country, a hands-on taste of a work day with our major infrastructure companies. They can also hear from other women already working the industry, and maybe see where they might have a future.”
Attracting more women to infrastructure careers is vital for the future of the sector, he says.
“If our sector is to continue to grow and operate at world standards, we need more skilled workers.
“Why would you ignore half the population in your recruitment plan?
“All the companies we are working with on Girls with Hi-Vis are keen to recruit quality employees and they can see that women are crucial to achieving that.” There are many opportunities available within the industries. Women can begin their career in Infrastructure ‘hands-on’ out in the field and progress from there, or if they have suitable skills and experience they can start at management level straight away. The options and possibilities are endless.”