Equal opportunities in Almaty
Municipal and environmental infrastructure
US$ 74.5 million
The EBRD has been working closely with one of its clients, Almatyelectrotrans (AET) in Almaty, since 2013 to strengthen its capacity to ensure equal opportunity for its workers and to introduce women drivers into its bus operations.
The Almaty Bus Sector Reform Phase 2 project was the first of its kind with a dedicated gender component to be implemented in Kazakhstan and 2015 saw some of this hard and pioneering work bear fruit.
While female trolleybus and tram drivers were not uncommon in Kazakhstan, encouraging female bus drivers was quite a different story. This formed part of the EBRD’s large-scale cooperation to upgrade public transport in the city of Almaty, which it has funded to the tune of nearly US$ 160 million.
In May 2015, AET hired its first female bus driver, signifying a great breakthrough for the company. Two more female bus drivers were hired in the second half of the year.
A technical visit was funded by TaiwanBusiness-EBRD TC fund in July 2015 for representatives from Almatyelectrotrans (AET) to learn about international good practices in equal opportunities, workforce management and health and safety of bus drivers and passengers. The government is dedicated to promoting gender mainstreaming plans in all areas, particularly in transport service industries. Therefore, it provided an excellent example for AET in how to set up and implement equal opportunities within the urban transport environment.
The AET delegates attended lectures by local experts and visited relevant government offices and bus/metro companies to learn about gender equality practices as well as management and safety measures for bus operations.
As well as this positive visit, AET made a number of important changes to support equal opportunity at the company in 2015, including the introduction of a new policy that states the company’s commitment to equal opportunity at all stages of the employment relationship and the creation of a “gender focal point” with dedicated responsibilities for equal opportunity.
The company has also seen an increase in the proportion of women in management (from 19 to 28 per cent) and the recruitment of women into previously all-male teams, such as technical maintenance and engineering.