Q&A: Helping Women to Take the Lead

Posted by CareerJunction Company 25/03/2013, 08:08
463 Views | 1 Likes | 1 Comments

Buti Maseko, head of human resources at DHL Express South Africa, speaks to Margaret Harris

  • Why are there still so few women in leadership positions?

There are obviously historic issues in terms of gender inequality, because women were discouraged from completing their education and occupying certain positions. This has undoubtedly evolved over time, but the inequalities still exist.

We know that women occupy only 28% of senior level positions in South Africa and this is something that needs to be addressed in business and government frameworks.

There are government frameworks in place, such as the Employment Equity Act as well as the broad-based BEE initiatives, aimed at promoting the employment of women in leadership positions. But we are still experiencing slow progress in this regard.

There are numerous reasons for the lack of female leadership, but we need to consider that more and more women are choosing to stay at home with their families, working part time, acting as a full-time mother or opening small businesses from home.

As we continue to move towards real gender equality, this also means that the choice of occupation – whether juggling work and family, full-time employment or stay-at-home motherhood – is up to women.

  • What can companies do?

Companies need to support and encourage women in leadership. I don’t believe in quotas, but the lack of progress makes quotas seem preferable to what is prescribed in the broad-based BEE code.

Nevertheless, the success of any initiative hinges more on the willingness of the parties than legislative prescriptions.

There are many inspirational female leaders in our business who act as role models for all employees and we need to showcase them more so as to encourage the promotion of women in sectors that are still indecisive about this approach.

  • Do companies benefit from having more women in leadership positions?

Absolutely, the benefits are countless. According to a recent study by consultants McKinsey, when business executives were asked what they believed the most important leadership attributes for success were, each of the top four – intellectual stimulation, inspiration, participatory decision-making and setting expectations and rewards – were more commonly found among female leaders.

Women are generally more empathetic, supportive and better at multitasking, which makes them effective leaders and great managers. There is also more harmony and better decision-making in a board with a mix of genders.

  • Is it feasible for women to lead organisations while balancing their role as a mother?

It’s feasible but, understandably, difficult. However, organisations should not use that as a reason to prevent women from occupying leadership positions. As technology improves, we are all increasingly connected.

Gone are the days when you leave the office, switch off your cellphone and ignore your e-mail.

This adds a challenge for women in terms of devoting their full attention to their family after hours because, increasingly, they are answering e-mails, writing briefs and conducting business after working hours.

But this is also true of men in modern society – fathers are playing a more active role and business has a part to play in ensuring a good work-life balance.

Author: Margaret Harris
Source: BD Live

  1. Priscilla S Jackson

    Priscilla S Jackson

    Having watched Julian Gillard (Australian Prime Minister) i couldnt help but be moved by her speach where she apologised on behalf of the country to all Australian citizens. I felt that only a female president could do that with so much emotion. So i agree with the article whole heartedly, women tend to bring a softer side to business while still making the difficult decisions as their counterparts.

  2. Anonymous
    1.  
    Comment
Cheryl Wilson
Siphokazi Sikiti
Nicole Attridge
Elan Lohmann
Duncan Mavuso
Gerard le Roux (The Guerrilla Job Search Coach)
Ledile Seema
Thabile Mandita
Rob Olsen
Leonore Williams
moneysmart .co.za
Ndumiso Ian Fuze
Nelisiwe Penelope Ngcobo
PropertyJunction Company
Thabiso Mamonyane
Tubatse Moloi
Mantshadi Mokoena
SELLO ERNEST  SEDINGWE
Tatolo Moleli
Jayraj Earnest
MATELA CORDELIA  MONARENG
Phokwane Molobye
Faraad Oersen
Darren Kinsman
Nhlakanipho Ngcobo
Siphelele Basil Khanyile
Thatayaone Loabile
Ronewa Rathanya
Kabelo Scheepers
Nomfundo Mkhize
Shobi Maake
Sandile Moses Dludla
Thobile Phungula
MAKOLWANE ENOCK MODISANA
Peter Ngubane
Priscilla S Jackson
Jody Leendertz
lerato  madike
Vuledzani Nemadzhilili
Tafadzwa Magejo
Zilungile Chiliza
Aluwani Vincent  Dzege
Abel Mahesu
Beauty Vutuza
Paul Byrne
sbonelo zulu
Kabir Rajman
Thomas J Meyer
Sipho Mkhwanazi
Marius Botha
Haroun Kola
Alecia Barnard
Johannes Marokane
Msizi Melvon Sibiya
Imtithaal Dawood
Sonya Collison
THABO MOEKETSI
Theodorah Mashilo
Zanele Maria Rambau
Ronald Kgomo
Wesley Mogaswa
Luyanda Nyobho
Neville Motsoakoa
VHONGANI SHUMBA
Florence Lewis
grace  mande
terrence hulani
Shane Budd
ABEL CHAVANGA
Greg  Rickson
Ntombifikile Alicia
gladys maphumulo
Motloang Sello
Nthabiseng Montle
Melissa Strydom
Antoinette Vosloo
Morne Louw
Katlego Rapolai
Stofel Sanoka Matjila
Phillip Dladla
Godfrey Van Wyk
THULANI DAVID
Karabo Raesetja Beverly Gwangwa
Promise Nkosi
Rukeya A Ebrahim
Sybil Pheladi Motsepe
Denisha Moodley
XOLA DASTILE
Wesley Butler
Laeticia Pacheco
Lovemore Nyatsine
Tebogo Rakhoathla
STshepo Lekoane
Ponvanan Ponnan
Zikhona Mlakuhlwa
Ladislav (Louis) Cizlak
kamogelo khutoane
Thabo Dlamini
Samantha Marks Harvey
Zintle Soloko Mapatwana
Simeon Makgoba
Lebo Motsukunyane
Faieka Davids
Songezo Sijinga
Limpho Lekitla
Dion Truter
Marius Botha
Imraan Parker
Nicole Attridge
Tina Kelly
Marcus Grove
Claire Olivier
Careers I'm interested in
Collections agent (Teleresources Cape Town) Western Cape
R4,500-4,800 Per Month Basic Salary
Software Architect (Majinga Consulting) Johannesburg North
CTC Incl Benefits Neg
C#.NET Developer (The Career Hub) Gauteng
Market Related CTC
EE Administrative Assistant (Perishable Products Export Control Board) Western Cape
R176,804 Per Annum CTC
Auto Electrician (Confidential) Middelburg
R15,000-18,000 Per Month Basic Plus Commission And Benefits
Financial Manager Bellville
R50,000-60,000 Per Month CTC Incl Benefits
SharePoint Sales Consultant (Nigel Frank International Ltd) Gauteng
Market Related Basic Plus Commission And Benefits Neg
EE Finance Manager Gauteng
Market Related Commission Only

Do you have a question about your career, car or property? Get answers from other users with similar lifestyles and experts.

in

Do you have a idea about your career, car or property. Get answers from other users with similar lifestyles and experts.

in

Share your lifestyle with everyone by uploading photos of where you work, what you are driving and where you live.


Select Photos to Upload

in