Women remain under represented at executive level in South African companies, with only one female CEO in the JSE top 40, according to research by PwC.
In a statement issued ahead of Women’s Day, PwC highlighted that for every 10 men, only eight women are employed or actively looking for work. On the AltX board of the JSE, 82% of executives are men while only 18% are women. In the financial services sectors pecifically 72% of executives are male and only 28% are female.
PwC referred to its report executive directors’ practices and remuneration report, for 2018, which highlights the challenges of the gender gap. The report, released earlier this year also proposed legislating the disclosure of the gender gap in companies and providing quotas for women on boards and in executive positions to address the gender gap.
Another study by PwC which looks at what must change for women at work, surveyed over 3 600 professional women. It indicates that business leaders must advance gender equality through creating transparency and trust, strategic support and have considerations for life, work and family.
The survey showed that women don’t trust their bosses tell them about promotions and pay and require transparency in this area. “Greater transparency won’t benefit only women; it will foster more inclusive environments, which give everyone greater opportunities to fulfil their potential,” the report read.
Women also need proactive networks of leaders and peers to help them progress in their careers. “Women don’t need men to back away. They need dedicated sponsors and role models of both genders. Lack of support from male colleagues will stall progress,” the report read.
Employers must also reconsider the approach to balance work, life, parenthood and family care. “There is a move to redesign maternity and paternity leaves and re-entry programmes, but this should be expanded and best practices must be communicated broadly,” the report read.
PwC director Rene Richter told Fin24 that part from addressing historical inequality some companies have programmes to develop female leadership, they also have mentoring programmes to equip females for the leadership challenges they often face at executive level.