Women continue to be under-represented in the infrastructure sector, and the ones they occupied are unstable and pay little, according to Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW) Simone Rudder.
However, Rudder told the launch of the MTW Gender Equality Workshop at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford on Monday, the imbalance which exists in the technical areas of Government service was due to choice, not to women being shut out. “Women are especially under-represented in industries such as transport and construction . . . There are currently relatively few women who have chosen to pursue careers in the technical areas of the public sector,” Rudder said.
The week-long event is being hosted by MTW and the Inter-American Development Bank and is the first phase of a project to sensitize 280 women. Phase two will provide the necessary training through work attachment in technical ministries, Rudder said.
The Government official explained there were about one thousand women and about 16,000 men in each of these industries while women were highly represented in industries such as food services and a combination of wholesale and retail with over 20, 000 working in these sectors.
However, Rudder said the sectors which attracted women provide less job security and less pay.
“More men than women are employed but yet more women find themselves in jobs that are under-paid and unstable and this is not right,” the MTW Permanent Secretary said.
The workshop is seen as a step towards fulfillment of the fifth in the 17 United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, which has been ratified by Barbados, and which speaks to the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.