Male stereotyping together with perception of women as inferior is hindering
recognition of women in senior managerial positions.
Through pervious studies regarding female leadership, conducted all over the world,
the theme of women being treated differently than males is fundamentally central to
all the conclusions. Not many studies relating to this topic have been conducted in
South Africa and yet we are in the forefront when it comes to identifying the need to
develop women into positions where they can add value on various levels. Some of
the issues have even been captured in legislation.
However, despite government’s intervention, it is crucial that women take ownership
of their own destiny. Unless women can prove that they can add value in the
positions that they are appointed, they will not be seen as leaders.
To be a successful leader an individual must have certain skills and traits. Some of
these can be developed over time, however the individual must first admit that there
is a need and identify the area in which personal growth must take place, before a
plan can be implemented. Once this point has been reached, a self-management
plan can be developed by the individual to align his / her objectives. There are
various components to the self-management plan and such a plan cannot always be
duplicated, but the focus areas can overlap. If an individual can identify a mentor and
enter into a mentoring program, it can give such an individual a huge advantage.
Internal and external factors play a role in the development and implementation of a
self-management plan. The problem is that one does not always have much control
over these elements. Some of these elements include the corporate culture of the
organisation in which females functions and the manner in which a female is able to
This study determined that males and females agree that female managers add as
much value as male managers. Further to the above, it has become evident that
A Botha 344-123-44
males have different perceptions relating to the issues of how women are
experiencing the work environment and the implementation of policies that relate to
employment equity. The impact of perception must not be excluded since it can have
the effect that people distinguish between leadership skills and traits on different
levels. Unless female leaders can make male leaders realise that they experience
the work environment and the implementation of policies that relate to employment
equity differently than the manner in which males perceive it, they will not be able to
get males to change the situation, since males believe that there are nothing wrong
with the current situation. This brings one back to the change in culture and the issue
that as a result of male dominance in the work place, it is also the males that
determine the current culture.
It is therefore important for females to take responsibility of the situation and where
necessary change the perceptions of males to ensure that as women they are not
hindered from receiving the recognition that they deserve.
|Date||30 November 2005|
|Source Sets||South African National ETD Portal|
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