Women in Manufacturing

Encouraging more women to pursue a career in manufacturing is critical to the industry’s continued growth, innovation and productivity.

Factors which continue to limit women’s participation in the manufacturing industry include:

  • stereotypes of ‘women’s work’
  • the perception that shop floor occupations in manufacturing are men’s work
  • limited flexible work arrangements
  • the existence of unconscious and conscious bias
  • lack of childcare on site
  • appropriate bathrooms and facilities at manufacturing businesses
  • the perception that there is not a career path to leadership for women
  • the lack of parental leave for men.

Through the strategy, we support manufacturers to identify potential barriers in their businesses and develop solutions to help overcome the issues.

We recognise the challenges experienced by women and girls that can limit the entry into the manufacturing industry. The Women in Manufacturing strategy 2023 (PDF, 2.1MB) responds to these challenges. It supports businesses to attract and retain women with  a focus on increasing women’s participation in traditionally male dominated roles.

The strategy has four priorities:

  • Supporting diversity, equity and inclusion in the manufacturing industry.
  • Building on our existing capabilities and skills to further women’s leadership and development.
  • Boosting women’s participation in vocational education and training (VET), building the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) pipeline and promoting advanced manufacturing capabilities throughout secondary and tertiary studies.
  • Celebrating and showcasing the women in Queensland’s manufacturing industry

The strategy aligns with the Good People. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022–2032.

Begin your journey in manufacturing

There are exciting careers throughout Queensland in our industry. Here are some ways you can begin your journey:

  • Talk to your career counsellor at school for job ideas that match your interests and skills
  • Ask family and friends for their ideas and personal networks
  • Try out roles in placement programs or internships
  • Browse current vacancies to get ideas for development and skills improvement.
  • Approach the businesses you’re interested in and ask about opportunities and vacancies.

Women in Manufacturing events 2024

Register your interest to stay informed about future Women in Manufacturing events.

Our Women in Manufacturing events highlight the importance of mentoring the next generation of women in industry and help establish supportive networks.

A key initiative of our Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan, each event features a panel of prominent female trailblazers from the manufacturing industry. Our panellists will be discussing Queensland’s manufacturers’ ability to innovate, the impact a strong manufacturing sector has on the economy, and the opportunities and importance for women to contribute to and actively shape the future of the sector.

These events are aimed at women working in the manufacturing industry and female science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students. However, entry is open to both women and men.

Event locations Event dates 2024
Sunshine Coast     21 March
Rockhampton 16 April
Gladstone 21 May
Dalby 13 June
Cairns 11 July
Moreton Bay 18 July
Kingaroy 1 August
Gold Coast 20 August
Maryborough 29 August
Mackay  3 September
Townsville  11 September

Other support programs

  • The Women in Manufacturing Apprentice Awards 2024 recognise female apprentices in Queensland who demonstrate leadership and initiative on the workshop floor, provide support to other team members and show resilience and effective communication skills.

    Read more about the Women in Manufacturing Apprentice Awards 2024.

  • The Women in Manufacturing mentoring program is how we’re delivering career development support for women working in manufacturing.

    It is a nine-month program. Students (who identify as female and are working toward entering the manufacturing sector) are matched with experienced manufacturing industry professionals. Over the program the mentors:

    • support the school students to plan a career in manufacturing and help them reach their development goals
    • provide support for new entrants to manufacturing by sharing knowledge, experience and building personal and professional networks
    • encourage women into the manufacturing industry.

    Watch the short (3.03 min) video introducing the mentoring program.

    View transcript

    Registrations for mentors and mentees are open now.

Diversity, equity and inclusion toolkit and Toolbox talks

The diversity, equity and inclusion toolkit (PDF, 2.3MB) helps you foster an inclusive workplace culture and to help all employees feel that they belong.
The toolkit includes:

  • a self-assessment checklist
  • business engagement ideas to improve awareness of your company and opportunities
  • job advertisement guidelines that attract a broad range of candidates
  • how to review your marketing and content for inclusion and diversity
  • outline of which measures will help your business grow your diversity in the right way
  • career development options and ideas.

Workshops and talks

To register your interest in participating in a Toolkit workshop or Toolbox talk at your premises, please email Advanced.Manufacturing@rdmw.qld.gov.au

Toolkit workshops for leaders

Toolkit workshops will be delivered between July 2023 and June 2024 around the state. The workshops are aimed at middle and senior leaders in Queensland manufacturing companies who want to attract and retain a more diverse workforce.

Toolbox talks for staff about respectful behaviour

On-site Toolbox talks are also available to participating manufacturers. These sessions help bring shopfloor employees into the conversation about respectful behaviour toward women and creating a safe and inclusive workplace culture for apprentices and trainees.

Last updated: 08 Mar 2024