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Gender and Leadership



Women in Leadership

Barriers to women finding themselves in leadership positions
Presentation done in July 2014

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Women in Leadership

  1. 1. Women In Leadership July 2014 1
  2. 2. Topics to be discussed: • How well represented are Women in our Workforce? • World Economic impact on Women. • Barriers for Women. • How does South Africa compare to other countries? • Proportionate representation of women leaders. • Women leadership positions. • Current challenges and initiatives. • What does all this mean for South Africa? • What can women do and what should be done? • Where to from here? • Conclusion 2
  3. 3. 3 How well represented are women in our workforce:
  4. 4. • The South African government introduced a number of initiatives as well as legislation to specifically support women post Apartheid. • However, gender and race discrimination is still an issue.Women’s Report 2011 4 How well represented are women in our workforce:
  5. 5. 5 How well represented are women in our workforce: • As women worldwide are being exposed to better educational opportunities, the role of women in the workplace is also changing dramatically, resulting in more women participating in the workplace. • Unfortunately, high unemployment rates are evident for women, and will persist. Women’s Report 2011
  6. 6. Table 2: Statistics on women in the South African workplace 2011 % increase from 2010-2011 Unemployed women 2 237 000 3,2% Total number of women working 16 642 000 1,3% 6 How well represented are women in our workforce:
  7. 7. 7 How well represented are women in our workforce: Table 1: Demographics of women in South Africa (OEDC, 2010; Stats SA, 2010) Item Number Total Population 47 850 700 Female population 50.90% Women’s life expectancy 52 to 55.2 years Fertility rate (average births per female) 2.7 children Female literacy 87% Women in parliament 33%
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  9. 9. • Decline in revenue and profits for big companies • Decline in share prices, investments • Slow down in industrial production and manufacturing • Decline in real income • Insolvency and dissolution of small businesses • Job Losses, Retrenchments • Price increase, interest rate increase, inflation • A slump in consumer spending (housing, furniture, cars, clothing) • Inability to service debt, and therefore, more debt • Cut down on nice to have’s • Poverty • Survival mode • We are still suffering the effects of the recession… 9 World Economic impact on Women
  10. 10. World Economic impact on Women • A global survey reported South Africa’s unemployment rate is the highest when compared to developed and semi-developed countries such as the United Kingdom, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Poland. • Interestingly, this global survey indicated that female employment was less affected than male employment during the global economic downturn. 10
  11. 11. 11 How does South Africa compare to other countries?
  12. 12. Barriers for women • Personal beliefs on gender – The barriers faced by women relate to: prejudice, stereotyping, cultural beliefs, and religious orders. Maintain women submissiveness. – Further research is required to determine whether there are personal beliefs that may be located within cultural groupings that encourage prejudice in the treatment of women in the workplace. 12
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  14. 14. • Race and gender Managerial leadership development programmes need to bear in mind that the race and gender dynamics in South Africa extend beyond blacks and whites, and need to be more inclusive of all diverse groups. 14 Barriers for women
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  16. 16. • Social revolution, cultural prejudices, and gender bias • Due to Apartheid and international isolation, the gender-based social revolution that took place in the west during the same timeframe escaped South Africa. 16 Barriers for women
  17. 17. 17 • Furthermore, cultural prejudices resulted in discrimination against women by members of their own culture. Barriers for women
  18. 18. • Organisational structure • Aside from barriers relating to race and gender bias, there is a strong indication that the glass ceiling (an unofficially acknowledged barrier to advancement affecting women and members of minorities) does exist in South Africa. • Limited support structures and networking opportunities hinder women’s career advancement. 18 Barriers for women
  19. 19. 19 • A low salary average • advancement of female employees in the form of out-dated company policies regarding programmes such as part-time and flexi-time work options, job-sharing, and telecommuting. • Women’s efforts to grow, develop, and empower themselves through academic and career development. Barriers for women
  20. 20. Proportionate representation of women leaders? • Women believe they have the skills needed to be an entrepreneur. • Incongruity exists in that women form the majority of the work force in education, yet they are underrepresented in its management. • Another example, is that there is not a significant number of professional women in the corporate communication environment occupying senior strategic roles, despite the fact that they possess the necessary abilities and skills. 20
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  22. 22. • Government legislation and policies – In government and the public sector, women reaching top-level positions is still uncommon. – Despite women having the personal belief, professional skills, abilities, and experience necessary to be effective, women leaders are still held back. 22 Proportionate representation of women leaders
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  24. 24. • The Local Government: Municipal Structures Act (1998, 11. (3)) specifies that, as far as councillors elected by proportional representation from party lists, "Every party must seek to ensure that fifty per cent of the candidates on the party list are women and that women and men candidates are evenly distributed through the list". 24 Proportionate representation of women leaders
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  26. 26. • Women constitute one-half of the workforce. Women are no longer are content to occupy staff positions that don‘t lead to important line experience – they want careers, not jobs. • Women constitute a major part of most consumer markets, and it is growing as more and more women assume responsibility for consumer purchasing in the home and car markets. • Women’s presence changes the conversation, number and type of substantive issues which are considered is broadened. 26 Women Leadership Positions
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  28. 28. • In a Harvard Business Review article, Adler presented his findings, showing that companies with the highest percentages of female executives delivered earnings far in excess of the median for other large firms in their industries. • The increased participation of women in the workforce generally and their advancement to positions of influence is a strategy that promotes long-term viability. 28 Women Leadership Positions
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  30. 30. • One thing is certain: Women’s rise to power, which is linked to the increase in wealth per capita, is happening in all domains and at all levels of society. • Women are no longer content to provide efficient labour or to be consumers • We have entered the age of “Womenomics, the economy as thought out and practiced by a woman.” Aude Zieseniss de Thuin, Financial Times, 10.03.2006 30 Women Leadership Positions
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  32. 32. 32 On average, women and men possess a number of different innate skills. And current trends suggest that many sectors of the twenty-first-century economic community are going to need the natural talents of women. Helen Fisher, The First Sex: The Natural Talents of Women and How They Are Changing the World‖
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  34. 34. Women as an economic force • Women contributed more to the expansion of the world economy than new technology or the emerging markets of China and India. • Dividends for wider community: women re-invest more than 90% of their income • Women generally control resources of the household • Women are the single biggest and least acknowledged- force for economic growth on the planet. 34
  35. 35. 35 Current challenges and initiatives • Now more than ever in South Africa, legislated opportunities favour women in industry. • We can predict, that there will be an increase in the number of successful women if career management strategies, mentorship, personal ownership and control are in place. • Furthermore, self-directed learning (where the individual takes the initiative and responsibility in educating themselves) leads to job satisfaction
  36. 36. • Mentorship is key in creating a supportive infrastructure to further women in their careers. • Both organisations and individuals are accountable for putting effective strategies in place to promote the empowerment of women, thereby positively influencing the productivity of the labour market. 36 Current challenges and initiatives
  37. 37. What does all this mean for South Africa • It is in everyone‘s best interest to bring qualified women into leadership positions, especially now when fresh perspectives are needed. • We can no longer afford to set gender boundaries around leadership. • The power is in the purse strings: until women are equitably represented in leadership in the private, economic sector, they will be marginalised in every other arena. • What‘s good for women is good for men, business and the global economy‖ • Ilene H Lang, President and CEO, Catalyst 37
  38. 38. • We are in a “war” for talent. • The war will intensify. • There is a severe shortage of effective leaders at all levels. • Women are under-represented in our leadership ranks at or near the top. • Women‘s strengths match the New Economy‘s leadership needs. 38 What does all this mean for South Africa
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  40. 40. What can women do and what should be done? • A nation‘s competitiveness depends significantly on whether and how it educates and utilises its female talent. • To maximise its competitiveness and development potential, each country should strive for gender equality i.e. to give women the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities as men. • In the current global financial and economic crisis, it is more vital than ever that women‘s economic participation does not shrink, but is in fact seen as an opportunity to make headway. Laura D Tyson 40
  41. 41. 41 What can women do and what should be done? Concerted efforts should be made to identify high potential women. They should be coached for participation at board level, i.e. expose them to the company's business, bring them within the ranks by appointing them to subsidiary boards. Abe Thebyane
  42. 42. • Include the transformation objectives as part of the CEOs performance mandate and link a significant portion of their performance bonus to the achievement of these objectives. Women on Board research. 42 What can women do and what should be done?
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  44. 44. • Companies could fast track the development of women, through the ranks, to make sure they obtain hard core, relevant business experience at a senior management level and understand what makes business tick, prior to being appointed to a board. Women on Board research. 44 What can women do and what should be done?
  45. 45. Where to from here? • What are WE, as women, doing to uplift other women, to empower them, to prepare them for leadership positions? • What are WE teaching our young girls? • What are WE doing in our communities? • What are WE doing in our work environments? • What are WE doing to protect our girl children? How are we preparing them to be LEADERS, right NOW? 45
  46. 46. Conclusion 46 “So often, it takes only one woman to make a difference. If you empower that woman with information, and training, or a microloan, she can lift up her entire family and contribute to the success of her community. Multiply that one woman’s impact by a hundred or a thousand, and perhaps a million lives can change.” Condoleezza Rice, former US Secretary of State
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  48. 48. I have 3 challenges for you!!! • It ALL STARTS WITH YOU!!! • What happens after this conference? • What legacy are you going to leave behind one day? • What is your personal mantra? My personal mantra: ConservativeConservativeConservativeConservative women don’t make history!women don’t make history!women don’t make history!women don’t make history! 48
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  50. 50. Thank you • Questions • Discussion Alison Engelbrecht CEO Women In Business 0829722675 50
  51. 51. Sources • benchmarking-study-south-africa-ranks-low-on- women-participating-in-sti/ • The South African Board for People Practices (SABPP) Women’s Report 2011 • BWA South African Women in Leadership Positions Census 2011 • Helen Fisher, The First Sex: The Natural Talents of Women and How They Are Changing the World • Financial Times 51
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Barriers to women finding themselves in leadership positions Presentation done in July 2014


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