Smiling engineer

The Victoria State Government has announced a further $1.3 million grant for organisations through its Women in Energy and Manufacturing Funding Program, designed to support organisations to attract, recruit and retain women and remove barriers in these historically male-dominated workforces.

Victoria State Minister for Women, Natalie Hutchins, announced that applications for a new round of grants are now open, and said the grants will drive equality in the workplace and support more women to enter and succeed in the male-dominated energy and manufacturing industries.

The first grants round supported a range of initiatives, including mentoring programs for women run by the National Association of Women in Operations through virtual group and one-on-one sessions, and school awareness campaigns for solar energy careers run by Australian Women in Solar Energy.

It also supported the Women in Trades project run by the Australian Manufacturing Union, which delivered a series of trade demonstration events, employer site visits and career expos with employers such as Nestle to attract young women to exciting careers and opportunities in the manufacturing sector.

The government said that supporting more women to pursue and excel in careers in energy and manufacturing will not only help to address gender imbalances, but help address skill shortages in these industries.

Women account for just 32 per cent of Victoria’s manufacturing sector, and 33 per cent of the electricity, gas, water and waste services industries. Figures are even lower for women working in trades.

The program is a key part of the government’s response to the Inquiry into Economic Equity for Victorian Women.

Applications for this grant round close on 20 February 2024.

“We want women of all ages, backgrounds and identities to have the careers they want – which is why programs like this are so important,” Ms Hutchins said.

“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.”

“I encourage all organisations that want to help more women get the job they want in these traditionally male-dominated industries to apply.”

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