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Strategy to attract women to workforce rewarded

Strategy to attract women to workforce rewarded

27 August 2015: The ongoing commitment by Connexis - the Industry Training Organisation (ITO) for the Infrastructure Industry - to growing a diverse workplace of employees has been recognised with a prestigious award.

Connexis was last night awarded Highly Commended in the Empowerment category of the EEO Trust Diversity Awards NZ 2015 (Equal Employment Opportunities) held in Auckland. The awards recognise businesses commitment to EEO across a number of categories and Connexis was highly commended for its Ultimit/Women in Infrastructure project.

Connexis CEO Helmut Modlik says, "Over the last four years Connexis has been working across Energy, Civil and Water sectors to attract more women into trade and technical traineeships through the Ultimit programme and we are starting to see the benefits. We are moving into a new phase with this project, one of evolution, nurturing and sustainability so it seemed only fitting that we made a submission to the EEO Trust Diversity Awards and share our story."

While women make up over 50% of New Zealand's population they represent less than 4% of Connexis’ trade/technical trainees. With a shortage of skilled trade workers the infrastructure industries see this as a lost opportunity and are highly engaged to promote their industries to women.

Helmut says, "I would like to thank the EEO Trust for recognising the work that Connexis and our industry partners, especially the founding partners who supported the initial intake of females four years ago - Electrix, Northpower - and the significant support of Ohug to work toward making a substantial change in the representation of women within the industry. This initial female intake allowed us to research the needs of both females and employers to gain insight, which have been the catalyst of our latest initiatives “Girls with Hi-vis” month and our ambassador programme.

Girls with Hi-vis month is aimed at attracting women into the infrastructure industry, along with creating and developing links to companies and trade and technically qualified women across the infrastructure sector. Ultimit is about supporting the long-term sustainability of women within infrastructure industries.

"Connexis is committed to supporting women who join our industries by connecting them to one another to create the “Women in Infrastructure” community," Helmut says.

"Women in Infrastructure brings together the nationwide community of infrastructure women to create long term, regional support networks, ensuring women can access a supportive group environment in which to share experiences and learning to help them succeed."


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