Skip to Content

Equal Rights

Women in Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is a male-dominated industry. In manufacturing 74.1% of employees are male. This is a significantly different picture from other industries where the figure is closer to 50:50. The only exception is the ‘Textiles, clothing and footwear’ sector where  women make up 62.6% of the workforce. The non-metallic mineral manufacturing and primary metal, metal product manufacturing sectors are the most heavily gender biased of all the sectors in manufacturing.


Women Apprentices

In December 2010 there were 654 women undertaking apprenticeships in the-non-traditional trades. The Metal and Engineering Training Package accounted for the majority as 74% (481) were in a formal apprenticeship contract.


MSA training package

Female apprentices in training Oct – Dec 2010



Aero skills


Metal and Engineering


Total no of female apprentices in training 2010


Source: NCVER National Apprentice and trainee collection January 2012

While women have made headway into certain occupations and sectors in manufacturing there is still a great gap between women and men. Some employers still provide particular challenges for women’s participation and rights. 

Our union stands up for gender equality in the workplace. Equal rights at work means equal pay for work or work of comparable value. An equal right also means eliminating discrimination that inhibits women’s full and equal participation in the workplace. This includes access to jobs and leadership positions or rights and entitlements.  Sometimes this discrimination is less obvious; inhibiting a woman’s full participation may mean not taking into account a woman’s family and caring responsibilities.

If you would like to know more about your equal rights call us today to find out more. Or maybe you feel like your employer is not providing you with a supportive environment that acknowledges the challenges you face as a woman  call us to discuss on 1300 732 698.