Hundreds of past and present WorldSkills competitors, volunteers and supporters have pledged their support for gender equality, through the United Nations’ #HeForShe campaign.
WorldSkills Australia CEO Brett Judd said the organisation was committed to working towards gender equality in vocational education and skilled professions.
“Gender should never get in the way of achievement, and WorldSkills encourages young women and men to consider all of their options for training and employment,” he said.
“Some of our WorldSkills champions are young women excelling in skills fields that do not conform with gender stereotypes. Through our support for #HeForShe, and on International Women’s Day, they should be celebrated.”
#HeForShe is a global campaign that was launched by UN Women to engage men and boys as advocates and stakeholders, to break the silence, raise their voices, and take action for the achievement of gender equality.
TAFE NSW Campbelltown autobody repair and surface coating teacher, and WorldSkills volunteer, Carl Tinsley said only about 10 percent of enrolments in spray painting were women, and pledged his support for women in trades.
Mr Tinsley praised WorldSkills for giving women the opportunity to test their abilities and showcase their skills in their chosen field.
WorldSkills International President Simon Bartley said the organisation aimed to speak up for women, young women and girls “so that they can feel empowered to take any career choice that they wish”.
WorldSkills is a membership organisation that promotes vocational skills around the world. Every two years it hosts the world championships of skills. With members in more than 70 countries, it is the largest organisation of its kind.
The fight to end gender inequality in vocational education and skills will form a part of future WorldSkills events including at the next international WorldSkills Competition, which will be held in Abu Dhabi in October 2017.
People interested in pledging their commitment to the #HeForShe campaign can do so at https://unwomen.org.au/campaign/heforshe/