Female engineers perceptions of gender discrimination.
Since South Africa achieved democracy in 1994, there have been unprecedented changes to increase women’s participation in the workforce. The presence of more women in traditionally male-dominated occupations like engineering has caused the industry to experience extraordinary cultural changes. However, different forms of covert and overt gender discrimination still prevail in the engineering industry that prevents women from successfully integrating into this profession. The aim of this study was to determine whether female engineers experience gender discrimination in their work environments. A quantitative study was conducted to measure female engineer’s perceptions of gender discrimination in their profession and to identify the underlying factors that hinder their advancement into senior management positions. Non-probability sampling that utilised convenience and snowball sampling techniques was adopted for the study. The study focused on the perceptions of 285 female engineers who were registered on the Engineering Council of South Africa’s (ECSA) database in the KwaZulu- Natal region. The participants belonged to the chemical, mechanical, electrical, civil and industrial engineering disciplines. Almost two thirds (60%) of the participants felt that they needed to overachieve in their organisations to receive recognition. More than half (52%) stated that their career mobility to senior management positions was hindered due to the lack of organisational support to balance their personal and work responsibilities. However, the majority of the respondents (52%) did not feel discriminated in their project management positions. The respondents ranked equal recognition, equity in compensation and in promotional opportunities as the three crucial job characteristics that need to be improved to eliminate gender discrimination in organisations. These findings prompted several recommendations to overcome these gender inequalities; some significant recommendations include gender equality training programmes, flexible working arrangements and shared leadership. Five gaps for further research were also discovered, which will provide a comprehensive account as to why gender discrimination still prevails in the engineering profession.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
An investigation of gender discrimination against South African women educators of Indian descent. Pahliney, Kethamonie. (1991)Claims of gender discrimination by women educators in South Africa were investigated through an examination of specific issues surrounding the employment of women educators of Indian descent. These include maternity ...
Martin, Geraldine. (2002)"But you've got to make sure you communicate in the right way [laughs] so that no one else knows what you're talking about. [Laughing]" (Interview I) The study examines the rhetoric of 'racial' exclusion used by South ...
Exploring employees' social constructions of affirmative action in a South African organisation : a discursive perspective. Reuben, Shanya. (2013-10-24)The contoured logic of apartheid in South Africa constructed racial, economic, social and political segregation, the consequences of which are still experienced today. In an attempt to alter the demographic weighting of ...