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Gender and Race Differences in Leader Behaviour Preferences in South Africa - page 8 / 35

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compared to male leaders, female leaders used a more transformational style. This was considered to indicate women’s tendency to exhibit a more desirable style of leadership.

GENDER AND LEADERSHIP IN SOUTH AFRICA

With the end of apartheid, several pieces of legislation have been enacted to address racial discrimination and other forms of inequity. The government has put considerable emphasis on promoting gender equality throughout South African society (Mathur-Helm, 2004). While there appears to be some positive movement in the numbers of women entering leadership positions, there is still an overrepresentation of males, particularly white males in senior and top leadership positions. Much of the literature focuses on the status of women in managerial and leadership roles in (Naidoo, 1997; Jacobson, 1999, Business Women’s Association, 2004, Marthur-Helm, 2004). Women in South Africa are over represented in pink-collar jobs in contrast to professional and technical positions (Naidoo, 1997; Jacobson, 1999).  The first nationwide census of the status of corporate women in South Africa in 2004 provided data on women’s access to executive positions.  The study indicated that of the 364 companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and state-owned enterprises in South Africa, only seven have female CEOs and 60% have no female faces on their boards. According to the study, women account of 41.3 % of South Africa’s workforce but are only 14.7% of executive managers and just 7.1% of all directors (Business Women’s Association, 2004).

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