The Australian Constructors Association (ACA) has pledged to transform the culture of the construction industry within five years, addressing two significant industry issues; gender equality and workplace flexibility.

Pledging to transform the industry from the bottom up, members of the ACA set ambitious goals for gender equality and flexibility on the first day of the Future of Construction Summit 2023 (FCON 2023) held in Melbourne on the 3 and 4 May.

ACA CEO, Jon Davies, said the pledge aims to address two significant industry issues that are known to impact the industry’s culture.

“Starting with gender equality, we commit to 75 per cent of ACA members being certified an Employer of Choice by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) within five years,” Mr Davies said.

“As the most male dominated industry in Australia and with the widest pay gap of any, this is an ambitious target that will promote gender equality and greater diversity and inclusion.

Mr Davies said to further raise the bar industry-wide, the second target area is workplace flexibility.

“ACA members will mandate flexible work plans for employees on every project, both office and site roles, in a move to address the long hours, high stress and poor work-life balance that characterises the industry,” Mr Davies said.

“Whilst other international jurisdictions are moving to legislate flexible working options ACA members are not waiting for the Australian Government to follow suit.”

With major workforce shortages right now, the ACA has further pledged to rebrand the industry and attract more workers.

“Construction is a varied and exciting industry that solves complex challenges every day,” Mr Davies said.

“There are opportunities for everyone, and we will be lifting the curtain on those opportunities and promoting them.

“This announcement is a bottom-up approach that does not require anything of anyone other than ACA members.”

The pledge demonstrates the ACA is taking action on matters it can control while progressing important initiatives with the government and other industry stakeholders.

“One such initiative is the Culture Standard developed by the ACA in partnership with the governments of New South Wales and Victoria. The initiative, currently being tested on various Victorian and New South Wales projects, takes a procurement-based, top-down approach to cultural transformation,” Mr Davies said.

“ACA’s pledge now puts several aspects of the Culture Standard into practice.

“Now is the time for change and we commit to taking the first steps.”

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