As the first-ever female appointed Acting Executive Director for Corporate Services Division with the Department of Works, Molong Molean has set the pace for other women in the department to follow suit.
Molong is part of a cohort of change agents who are working to improve Papua New Guinea’s transport sector by mainstreaming the National Public Service Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy into their respective departments’ structures, plans and reports. She has been on the front line of shaping equal employment opportunities since 2012.
The GESI Policy will help PNG Government departments address discrimination issues in the workplace and consequently create positive workplaces for public servants, who can work without fear of unfair treatment because of their gender, ethnicity, physical ability, or status.
Molong is using her people management skills to advocate on the importance of GESI in achieving the department’s vision of providing a reliable, safe and sustainable road network to enable full economic participation by all Papua New Guineans.
“[My role] is getting people to understand that the department’s role is more than what they can see. Transport is a catalyst for economic empowerment, which largely contributes to development, and that requires inclusion.”
The Transport Sector Support Program (TSSP), delivered through the PNG- Australia Partnership, has provided advisory support to Molong and her cohort as part of their professional development. This has helped Molong make strategic and inclusive decisions for the betterment of women, men and the marginalised groups in the transport sector.
“You can already see the impact of the program and the successes of the TSSP. I’ve benefitted a lot from it and so has the department in terms of knowledge enhancement and skills, such as budget analysis, quality reporting and people management.”
Molong first entered the Department
of Works as an Assistant
Planning Officer in 1992. She went on to study Business Management at Port Moresby
Business College in 2000 and gained a Diploma.
In 2002, Molong returned to the department and was appointed the Assistant Secretary for Project Coordination a year later. She was then appointed the First Assistant Secretary (FAS) of the Management Services Division in 2017 before accepting the promotion to her current role in 2021. This makes her the first woman to reach the levels of Assistant Secretary, FAS and Executive Director in the Department of Works.
“Never take opportunities for granted when they are presented in front of you. Grab them and make the most of them.”
Molong is currently undertaking a Bachelor in Business Management at Divine Word University. She looks forward to more women being given the opportunity and support to help them find their space and make their mark in the transport sector.
The PNG-Australia Partnership continues to support the professional development of women in the sector through mentoring, leadership and management training programs.
Feature Photo: Molong Molean – Acting Executive Director, Corporate Services – Department of Works.