Women in Trades

We’re building a network for Canberra’s women in trades.

In Schools

We provide free information sessions for high school and college pre-apprenticeship students.

Strenth in numbers

We're organising women apprentices in male-dominated industries to build power at work.


Do you have questions about your rights at work? A concern about safety? Unsure about you payslip or wages? Contact us.

Guide for Women Working in Male Dominated Trades

Women are still a very small proportion of apprentices and trades people – and for those who do start out in a trade, completion rates are very low. Working in a trade can be a rewarding and challenging career path and women can do anything men can do. 

But, for many women working in male dominated trades and industries, being part of a very small female cohort, and often the only woman onsite, leads to significant challenges. Women are still reporting discrimination, sexual harassment, lack of access to facilities and lack of flexibility as significant barriers to having safe and rewarding careers in trades. These challenges can have major impacts on women’s wellbeing, their career opportunities and ultimately their likelihood of completion of qualification and continuation in trade.

We surveyed women in trades and thinking about a trade to find out what is important to them to make their lives better at work. We spoke to women who are in trades and have experience supporting women in trades. We conducted an online forum and panel discussion to dig in deeper about the issues facing women in trades. All of this wealth of experience and information has helped to develop the online Guide for Women Working in Trades. Access it here.

Take our survey and go into the draw to win $200 gift voucher

The survey is open to all women working in male dominated industries – including apprentices and tradeswomen – and women who are considering working in a male dominated industry. 

The survey takes around 15 minutes to do. Complete the survey before Thursday 25 March and go in the draw to win a $200 online gift voucher from Totally Work Wear. All responses are confidential: you will not be identified. The information we collect will be used to develop informational materials for women working in male dominated trades as well as making policy recommendations to government. 

Do the survey here.

WOMEN IN TRADES ONLINE FORUM #1 Tuesday 30th March 4pm-6.30pm. For free tickets, go to https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/women-in-trades-online-forum-tickets-147031688739

Join us to hear from an expert panel about the challenges for women working in male dominated trades, your rights at work and how we can work together to make the world of work better for all women considering and working in male dominated trades.

Women in trades mentor interview series with Karen Abel, carpenter and teacher

we support all women apprentices and tradeswomen working in male dominated trades

Ask a woman tradie

Do you want to know more about working in a male dominated trade? Got questions about training, working or your rights? Ask a woman tradie!  

Ask a Woman Tradie is a live text-in Q and A held in October, November and December 2020. Text in during the event to get a real-time response from a woman tradie.

Next session: Monday 26th October 4.30-6.30pm


You can also email or text in questions before the event – just click on the Your Question button or text  0488 855 834.

Answers will be texted/emailed directly back to you during the live event. Questions and answers are confidential.

Email: womenintrades@unionsact.org.au 

Text: 0488 855 834

What do you want to know about studying for a trade or working in a trade? What challenges do you have in training and work? Got questions about your rights?

Send in your questions and we’ll include them in the next live Ask a Woman Tradie Q and A session. 

 Next session: Monday 26th October 4.30-6.30pm.

women in trades mentorship

Want support from other women in your trade? Or do you want to provide support for incoming tradeswomen and apprentices?

Be a Mentor – it’s a great way to support more women getting into trades

You don’t need to be an expert, just willing to share your experiences and provide support to other women to succeed in their trade. For women just starting out in a male dominated trade, support and mentorship makes a powerful difference. The Women in Trades Program will give you support and can put you in contact with other mentors and experts. 

Registering to be a mentor is easy: just fill out the form below and give us some information about you and your trade, we’ll be in touch to have a chat.

Request a Mentor – make contact with someone working in your trade

Requesting a mentor is easy: just fill out the form below and give us some information about you, which trade you are starting or training in, and we’ll be in touch to have a chat and will try to match you with a mentor from your industry.

Expression of Interest in the Women in Trades Mentorship Program



Do you have a problem or concern about your work? We can provide support, information and referrals for women workers in male-dominated trades. 

What Our MEMBERS and mentors say

It's been fantastic to meet with other women in the building and construction sector. The main benefit is finding out that so many other women face the same issues that I do.


I think women supporting women in traditionally male-dominated trades is crucial and that's why I'm a mentor for the Women in Trades program.

Heather, horticulture


Talk about issues at work, chat to other women in trades, ask questions and help build the network.

Supported by

The Women in Trades Project is supported by

The Women In Trades project receives ACT Government funding, via a Skills Canberra grant.

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