Indonesian women in public service leadership: A rapid review

Helen McLaren, Cassandra Star, Ida Widianingsih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number308
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


  • Civil service
  • Indonesia
  • Leadership
  • Public service
  • Women


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