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David Singleton spoke at today's Business News Success & Leadership event this morning. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Leeway for women in Austal apprenticeship approach

Austal chief executive David Singleton believes the shipbuilder needs to gain a critical mass of female workers to permanently make an impact on gender equality in the industry.

Mr Singleton told today’s Success & Leadership forum this year’s apprentice program was a female-only intake.

Read more of David Singleton's Success & Leadership interview here 

“We’ve probably in the last decade (had only) one or two get through,” he said.

“This year we’ve got 18.

“All of a sudden, you’re getting a critical mass.

“You get mentors starting to work in the system and you’re transforming the place.”

The Austal move was inspired by efforts in the Royal Australian Navy to support female participation.

The Navy had a workforce of about 22 per cent women, which was a massive change from only a couple of decades ago.

Mr Singleton said the Navy had found it was better to have large groups of women on vessels together, rather than just one or two on a ship full of men, which many found daunting.

He said part of the motivation for Austal’s approach was that he had come from a disadvantaged background.

“What I was given, an ability to succeed or fail on my own merits, is all I want for my daughters,” Mr Singleton said.

“I’ve always be keen on getting more women into engineering.”

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Austal (ASB)

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BN30 Index

Index = 100 as of 4 Jan 2016
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Top 10 Shareholders

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Total Shareholder Return as at 31/05/19

1 year TSR5 year TSR
66thAustal64%24%
113thMonadelphous36%8%
400thMacmahon Holdings-16%11%
518thAusdrill-37%13%
529thSeven West Media-38%-18%
728 WA (and selected non WA) listed companies ranked by 1 year TSR relative to other companies with similar revenue
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27/01/16
$4.6m Bought
04/09/15
$333k Sold
04/09/15
$7.2m Sold
Total value as at the date of the transaction
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Revenue

4th↑Monadelphous$1,742.2m
5th↓Seven West Media$1,637.0m
6th↓Austal$1,408.5m
8th↑Ausdrill$909.3m
9th↑Macmahon Holdings$714.9m
197 listed industrial companies ranked by revenue.
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