The empowerment of women leadership: a case in the South African pharmaceutical industry.
The purpose of this study was to explore the empowerment of women leadership, concentrating on the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry in South Africa. Global statistics highlight that women are under-represented in decision-making positions; especially in the pharmaceutical industry despite there being a high number of female employees. The aim of this study was to evaluate the data and determine which barriers hinder female employees from advancing into leadership roles in the pharmaceutical industry. The target population included female employees from a pharmaceutical company in South Africa and had a range of various levels of seniority, from management to entry-level employees. The technique of non-probability convenience sampling was selected for this study, with a sample size of 40 participants chosen from the population. The methodology of the study involved the collection and evaluation of pertinent data by utilizing a quantitative technique. The questionnaires were designed with questions that were closed ended using a 5-point Likert scale to test the agreeability of the respondents. To maintain good ethical practice, the questionnaires were personally administered to the Quality department at the pharmaceutical company in South Africa and anonymity was ensured. The study’s findings have revealed that, even though women are still under-represented in the pharmaceutical industry in leadership positions, there are some initiatives in place to try to close the gap. The study discovered that whilst there are a significant number of initiatives in place to empower women at the pharmaceutical company in South Africa however more can be done, for example the implementation of mentorship programmes. In addition, the research undertaken found that the participants agreed that there are barriers in their home and work lives that they encounter which prevents their progression into advanced leadership positions. The study provides a contribution to the awareness and knowledge of gender-based leadership and the empowerment of women into leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry.
Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.