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An investigation into women capabilities in leadership roles in Mmabatho/Mafikeng area
Molosiwa, Boineelo Esther
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The aim of the study was to investigate women capabilities in leadership roles and the problems they are facing in managerial positions. The study was guided by two basic assumptions which are 'men and women are born equal' and that the national development will be enhanced when equal opportunities are given to both men and women. The literature rev1ew reveals that, traditionally work and family were viewed as complimentary spheres, each belonging to one sex only. Work is for men. family responsibility and home maintenance is for women. On the whole, society perceives the role of the homemaker as the domain of a female. Men are breadwinners. Gutek, Nakurama and Nieva ( 1999: 16) believe that as long as it is presumed that women exclusively occupy the homemaker-role there is little interest in the interdependence of these : two roles occupied by the same sex. Kellerman and Rhole (2007: 16) state that assumptions about gender difference in leadership styles and effectiveness arc widespread. The conventional wisdom is that female leaders are more participatory and interpersonally oriented that male leaders and they are more to adopt emphatic, supportive and collaborative approaches. Recent developments of theory have argued that women may bring alternative qualities to management, which are equal value to traditional male norms. Stephensen (2005:99) alluded that women's domestic policies be shaped and applied not just by men but also by full and equal participation of women. However, it is stated in the constitution of South Africa that all people are equal before the law and no one because of his sex, his decent, his race, his language, his origin or his religious beliefs be favoured or prejudiced (The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1977). The literature also revealed that "for women to succeed they need not be like men, their female qualities can add unique value as far as teamwork, trust and human relations are concerned. The energy wasted in campaigning and competing, can be applied more constructively in a collaborative relationship. Women are more likely to use transformational leadership, a factor which is of crucial importance to organisational success in this millennium (Ready, D. & Ball, S. 2000:145). Because the women brain is different forms part of any orgqnisation's top executive team to ensure that the diverse South African workforce is managed effectively Sayed and Carrim, 2007:91-100). There is no doubt that if South African organisations wish to be competitive in the international community, the collective solidarity in African life should find its expression in organisations and management. The quantitative researcher chose 100 respondents 20 sectors from both Governmental and Non Governmental. Random sampling was used to choose the sample size. The data was collected through questionnaires and analyzed using Microsoft Excel and descriptive statistics. The data revealed that women are experiencing problems of being subordinated with regard to decision-making at the workplace. Majority of the respondents indicated that female managers are still not viewed as equal to male managers. From some of the responses, it was indicated that male still view women as subordinates, since they still uphold patriarchal ideology. Further, the implication from the analysed data majority revealed that gender issues are not discussed at the workplace. This shows that some of the significant issues pertaining to gender issues are being ignored. As a result, gender equity and equality may not be maintained. The following information indicates that women experience a number of problems at the workplace: 90% are being harassed, 80% disrespect/undermined, 80% practice gender bias or subordination, 70% are being discriminated against and 20% being under paid. The statistics reveal that worldwide the majority of women heading companies are experiencing gender bias/prejudice problems.