Transformative Interventions Fostering Mainstreaming of Black South African Women into Managerial Positions in the Private Sector

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Abstract

In South Africa, progressive laws, policies and institutions established since 1996 seek to proliferate the representation of black African women in the private sector. However, the sector remains stagnant in giving opportunities to black African women to attain and occupy managerial and leadership positions. Black African women are not yet accepted as an integral of part of decision-making in the private sector contrary to the public sector that has somewhat progressed to place black African women in key decision-making positions in government. Consequently, black African women in the private sector predominately dominate the unskilled labour positions. The underrepresentation of black African women essentially denies them of economic participation and equality in the workplace. It is against the backdrop of this underrepresentation that this article analyses salient transformative legislative interventions that have been put in place to foster ample representation of black African women into managerial positions in the private sector. However, the concern is that the current legislative framework in South Africa does not explicitly make it mandatory for the private sector to achieve a specific target of black African women representation at the top management positions. The article showcases that the glass ceiling in the private sector is real and is nurtured by the organizational culture, policies and strategies which promote exclusion. Therefore, effective implementation and enforcement of laws and policies fostering mainstreaming of black African women into top managerial positions will help in breaking down the glass-ceiling. This will become realizable with the cooperation of all stake holders and role players where there is deliberate effort to empower and enhance the skill and capacity of women through quality training and education that will drive and deliver robust career development.

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