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Australia’s economy will be poorly equipped for future challenges if stereotypes about the kinds of work women and men ‘should’ do persist, according to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

A new WGEA fact sheet – Gender segregation in Australia’s workforce – shows that the proportion of women has increased over the past two decades in Australia’s two female-dominated industries (Health Care and Social Assistance and Education and Training), while there has been a decrease in women’s representation in the most male-dominated industry, Construction and little improvement in Mining.

WGEA Director Libby Lyons said employers have an important role to play in challenging stereotypes and barriers to participation.

“Research has consistently shown that diversity is good for business. Smart business leaders know this, and compete to attract and retain the best and brightest candidates, by creating inclusive workplace cultures and by offering things such as flexible working arrangements,” she said.

“Job-seekers should also think broadly about their futures and explore opportunities in non-traditional fields.”

The fact sheet was released as part of a new WGEA educational campaign –women’s work│men’s work: great careers are for everyone – a series of profiles of women and men working in non-traditional fields to inspire the next generation of employees about careers they might embrace.

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