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More women than ever building Mackay, study finds

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Construction leaders believe the industry has "turned a corner" when it comes to gender parity across the Mackay workforce.

There has been a big spike in the number of women working in construction, according to new research by Construction Skills Queensland.

CSQ's report says the number of female apprenticeships in Mackay has grown by 70 per cent since 2010.

It is the highest figure out of any regional town in Queensland.

In 2018, research showed female trade participation had been as low as three per cent across the entire workforce.

CSQ research director Robert Sobyra says the new figures mean women now account for nearly five per cent of construction trades.

“Women account for around 15% of all people employed by construction firms but that figure is significantly reduced when we look at only those employees ‘on the tools’ in trade and labouring roles," Mr Sobyra says.

The findings also mean women in construction trades have more than doubled over the past 20 years.

Mr Sobyra says although the numbers reveal a positive trend, more work needs to be done to cut through the stigma that construction is a male-only industry.

“We can see a strong correlation between these female training numbers and the overall representation of women in the local construction industry.

“This will take time, but we have clearly turned a corner," he says.