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           30 May, 2017


    
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Despite Recent Advances, Gender Equality Still Has a Long Way to go in South Africa

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2010-09-15 06:36:08     
IQPC Middle East

The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women's Advancement, which was released recently, shows that South Africa's index score - based on management positions, earnings, labour force participation and university enrolment - rose to 93.5 this year, up 5.5 points from last year.

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According to the 2009/10 Employment Equity report, women constitute 46% of the economically active population in South Africa. However, in the private sector, which includes companies, state-owned enterprises and educational institutions, women hold 15.9% of top positions. In the government, women hold 31.3% of management positions.

These data indicate that while South Africa has made significant progress, there is still much to be done to increase female labour force participation rates and achieve gender equality in the workplace.

This view is echoed by leading female professionals who are speaking at IQPC's 7th Annual Management & Leadership Development for Women conference. One of the main reasons for the continued inequality is family, as women tend to give greater consideration to the effects that career advancement will have on their husband and children in an attempt to achieve a work/life balance.

Elaine Schorn, Director at Zebra Medical, says that one of her greatest challenges was, "playing 'catch-up' to my male colleagues after taking about 4 years off to have my children and then a further 3 years off working mornings only." She adds that it was "well worth it but I was left behind in the hierarchy of corporate life."

Other speakers cite the entrenched traditional structures in the workplace as their biggest barrier to achieving professional success. Nombuyiselo Mapongwana, an HIV/AIDS counsellor at Anglo American, says that in her experience, "by virtue of being in the 'lower band', you become sidelined in making key decisions that pertain to the very thing that you do in your department."

However, these women also offer valuable advice for female professionals wishing to further their careers. Mapongwana says that it is important "to persevere, stand your ground and know for sure that you are there to give valuable input."

In Schorn's experience, it is necessary to "take yourself seriously if you want people to take you seriously. This means dressing appropriately, behaving professionally, giving and commanding respect, insist on being paid for the job and in line with your male colleagues, and plan for your career path, don't just hope it might happen."

Women in senior positions from the public and private sector will be sharing their experiences of how to achieve personal and professional success at the Management & Leadership Development conference in Sandton, Johannesburg from 22 - 25 November 2010. For more information, please visit the website, http://www.womencongress.co.za or contact IQPC on +971-4-364-2975 or enquiry@iqpc.ae for more details.

About IQPC Middle East:

For over thirty years, IQPC has helped the world's leading corporations solve their business challenges through the sharing of practical industry solutions and global best practice. In the process, the company has built a formidable reputation for quality and value. The world's most progressive companies have benefited from IQPC's unrivalled global reach, which has connected international expertise with regional and local leaders.

For more information, please contact

Eileen Espelita
Marketing Manager
IQPC Middle East
+971-4-364-2975
enquiry(at)iqpc.ae

Specialized in: Women In Management - Leadership - Talent Management - Gender Equality - Empowerment - Career Development - Learning - Self-confidence - Positivity
URL: http://www.womencongress.co.za/
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