Women in management : barriers to accessing senior positions in the uMgungudlovu region of the Department of Education.
Rajuili, Eunice Nonkululeko.
MetadataShow full item record
The research interest is in the area of leadership and gender, with specific reference to promotion prospects of female educators in predominantly black schools. I seek to establish internal and external factors that contribute to women educators being marginalised. The investigation is carried out in the uMgungundlovu region of the KwaZulu-Natal's Department of Education. This region covers the rural areas of Vulindlela and the urban and peri-urban circuits of Pietermaritzburg. I made use of qualitative methodology to obtain data from a random sample of twenty one out of twenty five deputy principals from the two circuits. This was followed by a detailed interview of seven of the twenty one who formed the purposive sample The central thesis of this study is that constitutional laws which outlaw unfair discrimination and academic qualifications play a subsidiary role in the upward mobility of women. The study will seek to confirm or refute this claim. A major finding in this study indicates that hindrances to promotion among married women include family responsibilities of being mother and wife; disruption of career advancement as a result of husband relocating. Low self-esteem among some women also acts as a hindrance to promotion. However, the more intractable hindrances turned out to be external. Cultural conditioning and tradition both combine to relegate women to domestic responsibilities. There is the issue of unequal power relations between men and women in the work place and, in some instances, the failure to apply anti-discriminatory legislation during interview processes. It therefore made little or difference whether the research was carried out in an urban area like Pietermaritzburg or a rural environment like Vulindlela. Hindrances to female promotion were very similar. This study concludes by suggesting that women should form lobby groups to challenge unfair labour practices. They should also increase their visibility by placing their curriculum vitae in the hands of people of influence. A further suggestion is that they take an active part in professional bodies and publish academic articles. At the school level, they should resist all attempts at being treated in a condescending manner.