According to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC) in Ecuador, the percentage of women workers in the construction sector is 3.9% and only 7.8% of people who drive heavy transport in Ecuador are women. This is due to several factors related to the gender bias, the lack of training for women in this sector and even the negative perceptions of women who work in construction.
To change this reality, initiatives and alliances arise between the private sector, social and educational organizations, national and international organizations that seek to provide women with economic, labor and social opportunities that allow them to access decent work based on equal pay, labor protection, a work environment free of violence.
One of these initiatives is “Women behind the wheel- Mujeres al volante in Spanish”, the first professional driving school for transport and heavy equipment for women in the country, promoted by Holcim Ecuador, the School of Professional Operators of the UTPL and Nirsa, together with the support of the UN Women.The school promotes diversity, inclusion and equality in the professional driving of heavy machinery, leaving aside the social stereotypes that surround it.
Through this initiative, 29 women participants receive a 90% scholarship for the 5-month training and upon graduation they are expected to obtain the professional license type G, which allows them to operate up to four types of heavy machinery simultaneously such as: excavator, backhoe loader, loader and tractor.