It’s been more than six decades since South African women of all races came together and staged one of the country’s largest demonstrations in history to fight for gender equality.
But, in 2017, have women achieved equality in the workplace?
CareerJunction ran a survey to discover how South African women experience the workplace today. More than 1 500 women participated in the survey and the results reveal just how far we’ve come as a nation.
The survey showed that 25% of participants have a diploma and over 30% have a degree or higher qualification.
In terms of occupations, there is a healthy mix of women in administrative and professional roles. However, 65% of respondents claimed that most senior staff at their organisations are men, with only 3% of women in the survey currently in top executive roles.
While only 22% of participants felt that there is an opportunity for advancement within their organisations, gender wasn’t necessarily the only obstacle preventing women from advancing in their careers.
The top reasons included a balanced mix of skills, gender and experience.
Many respondents did, however, feel that they have previously been overlooked regarding a pay raise or promotion due to their gender and nearly 60% felt that the subject of diversity at work needs a little improvement.
While most mothers took between three and four months of maternity leave, more than 35% say they resort to taking annual leave or “calling in sick” when their children are ill.
More than 70% felt that their employer was only somewhat or not at all supportive of their duties as a mother.
When asked if they foresee continued improvement for women in the workplace, women seemed to lean slightly more towards a “yes” or a “maybe”, compared to a “no”.