Attracting and retaining women in the transport construction sector in South Sulawesi

The building of infrastructure such as ports, railway lines, airports and roads presents many exciting opportunities, especially in areas that have not experienced this kind of development before.

This report sets out to investigate the current gender situation in the transport construction sector in South Sulawesi, and the drivers of and barriers to women’s access to the many roles within it. It finds that women do want to be a part of the province’s transport infrastructure build, and there are two overarching themes on why actual participation is low. A career in the sector is perceived as unattractive, and there are real barriers to progression once in the industry.

Infrastructure jobs are currently dominated by men, with women comprising only four percent of the transport workforce and one per cent of the construction workforce. The women in the industry are predominantly working in professional, clerical and sales roles, with very few in production or operational roles.

The report finds that women become aware of career opportunities primarily through friends and family networks and more information could be provided through a range of social media and formal channels.


Read the full “Attracting and retaining women in the transport construction sector in South Sulawesi” here


This research identifies several recommendations for government and industry to attract, retain and advance the careers of women in the transport and construction sectors:

1. Set up targeted initiatives for young women to learn more about careers in transport and construction, preferably through social media channels that are commonly used by high-school students.

2. Promote greater industry involvement with the higher education sector to offer project site visits, apprenticeships or internships for young women to learn about technical and professional roles.

3. Devise and communicate industry-wide gender equality action plans to encourage young women to consider careers in these sectors, including measures to improve flexibility of work
hours, and strategies to help women manage work and caring responsibilities, or their return to work after a period of absence.

4. Establish professional networks to assist women in these industries, by providing training, coaching and support to progress into leadership roles.

Image: Evi Aprianti, PAIR. Shows construction supervisor Eka Yuliana at work in South Sulawesi