Business Women South Africa

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International Human Resource Management

Empirical analyses of the role allocation between women and men in small and medium sized businesses and description of the most important influence factors.

Empirical analyses of the role allocation between women and men in small and medium sized businesses and description of the most important influence factors.

Introduction
The word “glass ceiling” is a topical theme within the current business life. Women confront with limits in top levels of organizational hierarchies. The “glass ceiling” is an invisible barrier which stops anyone from proceeding. A more common definition of “glass ceiling” was a concept applied to women and minorities. It was pretty difficult for them to reach upper management positions. Their qualification and experiences were not given opportunities to further advance their careers. Nowadays there are women and minorities in top management who managed to surpass expectations and achieve modification in business boardrooms.

The graph represents an opinion of 3.000 managers concerning the exit of a current “glass ceiling” in the world of business. The results: 73 % of women agreed of a presenting “glass ceiling” whereas just 38 % of men did confirm to the invisible barrier for women and minorities in business. Another current theme within business life is the implementation of the women-quota. Norway for example can be seen as an idol regarding the quota which was introduced 7 years ago. In the year 2010 the women board quota in percent (40 %) had been achieved.

This document will give the reader an insight of two South-African mid-sized companies and how these companies avoid the transparently thresholds and their business culture. It is to mention that women in South Africa from all communities have played minimal roles within the business world in the past but slow progress has been made towards greater gender equality within the workforce. In South Africa most women are expected to run the household and look after the children. The macho culture is widespread and women can expect to be treated with less respect than male colleagues. However, gender empowerment moved from relatively obscurity to central stage in global economic debates. Many organizations established by women for women, e.g. Africa Businesswomen Networking (ABWN) or the initiative The Business Women of Tomorrow (BWOT) support women to become self-confident in their environment and other organizations put effort in teaching African men about the value of women and their abilities regarding their true nature. “South African women have found their feet and marching forcefully into every corner of their country. Ilse Pienaar an Associate Publisher of the Women Month´s Special Magazine “The Top Women in Business & Government” wrote: “Women we are now told, a key to unlocking economic growth, creating jobs and generally updating the nation. Why women are still occupying positions of less influence, lower status and lower pay?” To answer this question one needs to look at various factors like daily life routines, ideologies, customs and traditions. Women in South Africa struggle with the fight of discrimination but the young African women support each other and they want to improve the quality of life on their continent.

The number of employed women increased during the last ten years around 30 % - 40 %. Nowadays 200 million more women are employed in the world. Looking at South Africa just 45 % of the workforce is made up by women. Women in South Africa have seen themselves meeting the “glass ceiling”.

Research Objectives
The aim of this homework is to analyze the women power in selected South African mid-sized companies. The objectives of this study are to determine:
* the current business culture in South African mid-sized companies * analyzing work responsibilities of women in mid-sized companies * universally picture of women...
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