Differences between managers' and employees' perceptions of gender–based discrimination in a selection of South African organisations
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Introduction: The relationship between employees and employers depends, among other things, on the level of consensus on what is perceived as fair or unfair in the workplace. When these perceptions are similar, a certain harmony results, but when there are appreciable differences, conflict may follow. Objective: To gauge the levels of difference in gender-based discrimination perceived by managers and employees. Method: Information was gathered from 145 managers and 1 740 employees working for 29 organisations, using the Fair Treatment at Work Survey and the Gender- Based Discrimination Questionnaire. This was a cross-sectional quantitative research design. Results: Both managers and employees pointed to genderbased discrimination as the primary source of discrimination in the workplace, more so than race or ethnicity. When presented with a list of the consequences of discrimination, managers and employees provided similar ranking orders. Confronted with the question of whether males or females enjoyed more privileges at the appointment, promotion, training and development levels, or whether remuneration for both gender groups was perceived as fair, managers and employees answered similarly. They agreed that most gender-based discrimination occurs at the appointment and promotion levels, and that less discrimination is experienced at the training, development and fair remuneration levels. They also concurred that discrimination sometimes occurs in favour of males and on certain occasions in favour of females. Conclusions: No real differences were found in the ways in which both managers and employees viewed the levels of discrimination in the workplace. The fact that gender-based discrimination was the most frequently listed type of discrimination suggests that more interventions should be implemented for its elimination.