ETU Women’s committee celebrates first year of affirmative action

Eimear test O'Sullivan

This month the National Women’s committee celebrated a successful first year of affirmative action.

Women representing the ETU in all states in the committee met over Zoom teleconferencing to talk about their first year of action and establish formal goals for the next 12 months.

Highlights from their first year of action include:

  • an increase in female membership every month in NSW to 3.5%, up from 2% a year ago
  • successful lobbying to NSW power distributors Endeavour energy and Ausgrid resulting in the companies agreeing to provide sanitary options in bathrooms
  • 50 women attending the first ETU Women’s Information and Training Day.
  • SA welcoming two new members and a new female state councillor
  • collaboration with shipbuilding company BAE Systems in SA with an aim to recruit 30% women
  • a position secured at the BWI Global Women in Trades Conference
  • ETU QLD and NT held a women’s conference in September last year.


Affirmative Action officer Ellen McNally from the NSW branch is proud of the progress the committee is making and the message of inclusion that it sends to union members and women in the electrical trades.

“Women want to feel that their voices are being heard. Having female representation on committees helps ensure that their perspectives don’t go unnoticed and gives them someone to reach out to about issues that affect them,” she said.

The committee looks forward to a big year ahead welcoming more women on board. Keep your eyes peeled for a national women’s survey kicking off soon where the committee aims to find out more about our female members.

Pictured: Jill Raynes (Ausgrid), Ellen McNally (ETU Affirmative Action Officer, Endeavour Energy), Tara Koot (ETU Youth/Apprentice Officer)

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