Obstacles to the career progression of professional female project managers (PFPMs) in the Ghanaian construction industry

Agyekum K., Amos-Abanyie S., Kumah V. M. A., Kukah A. S. K., SALGIN B.

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol.31, no.1, pp.200-226, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1108/ecam-03-2022-0283
  • Journal Name: Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ABI/INFORM, Aerospace Database, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Communication Abstracts, ICONDA Bibliographic, Index Islamicus, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.200-226
  • Keywords: Females, Project managers, Career progression, Construction, Construction projects, Project management careers, Ghana, BOUNDARYLESS CAREER, WOMEN, SUCCESS, GENDER, ORGANIZATIONS, ADVANCEMENT, PERCEPTIONS, CHALLENGES, WORKING, GAP
  • Kayseri University Affiliated: No


© 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.Purpose: There are significantly fewer women than men in managerial positions, mainly project management. This problem is noticeable in the construction and engineering sectors, traditionally male-dominated industries with leadership much dependent on masculine qualities. This study examines the obstacles to the career progression of professional female project managers (PFPMs) in the Ghanaian construction industry. Design/methodology/approach: Twenty potential obstacles to women's career progression in the construction industry were identified from a comprehensive review of the literature. A questionnaire was prepared and administered among eighty project managers who work in large construction firms in Ghana. Data obtained were analysed using one sample t-test, Kendall's concordance test, Chi-square test and exploratory factor analysis. Findings: The findings suggest the significance of all the twenty factors as potential obstacles to the career progression of PFPMs. The exploratory factor analysis identified five underlying grouped obstacles: “leadership and human capital related issues”, “issues related to discrimination of all forms”, “career aspiration and planning issues”, “female related role conflicts”, and “recruitment and selection issues”. Research limitations/implications: The subjective nature of the views of the respondents could influence the evaluation of the obstacles. With this study only exploring the dimensions underlying the significant obstacles, future studies could examine the interrelationships between the various obstacles and move on to determine their impacts on the career progression of professional female PMs as well. Practical implications: Having an in-depth understanding of these obstacles, stakeholders and other industry practitioners in Ghana could make informed decisions on measures to put in place to address some of these critical issues to raise the standard of professional female PMs in the construction industry. Policymakers and gender advocates in Ghana could also take up some of the critical obstacles identified and provide suitable strategies to educate and create the needed awareness of the industry on those obstacles. Practically, the findings from this study can be valuable for informing decision-making at different management levels in the construction industry. Originality/value: With country-specific (Ghana) obstacles identified, the findings significantly contribute to the literature on the career advancement of females in the construction sector.