Indonesian Women in Public Service Leadership: A Rapid Review

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Indonesian Women in Public Service Leadership: A Rapid Review


Masculinist contours have legitimized male domination in Indonesia’s upper public service ranks. However, some women have managed to crack the glass ceiling. A systematic search was undertaken of seven academic databases and the Google Scholar search engine to identify facilitative features of women’s career advancement through Indonesia’s echelon ranks. Fourteen articles, representing nine studies, were identified. While policy initiatives exist to increase women’s representation and career advancement, studies consistently identified little application to practice. Patterns across the studies located women’s career advancement as an individual concern and showed that women wanting careers were expected to manage the double burden of productive and reproductive life, obtain permissions from husbands and extended family, and adopt masculine leadership traits to garner colleagues’ support. Barriers frequently outweigh opportunities for career advancement; these including entrenched homo-sociability asserting that men make better leaders. Consequently, the blocking of women’s opportunities invoked personal disappointments, resulting in women’s public denial of their leadership ambitions.


  • Cassandra Star
  • Helen Jaqueline McLaren
  • Ida Widianingsih

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