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Glass ceiling effect: the challenges experienced by post graduate female professionals in upward career progression in Durban, South Africa.

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Date

2018

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Abstract

Although women have made considerable progress within the labour market, due to education and aggressive employment legislation, they continue to experience a roadblock in progressing to management levels. This study investigates the challenges experienced by post graduate female professionals in upward career progression in Durban, South Africa. The study sampled 134 females of different race, age, work experience and qualification, employed at different hierarchical levels across different industries in Durban. Data was collected through the use of an electronic self-administered questionnaire and analyzed through the use of simple descriptive statistics. The findings indicate that female professionals turn down opportunities due to their domestic responsibilities, whilst mentoring and networking with executives are essential factors in advancement and promotion, yet females do not have access to both these aspects, there is a societal stereotypical perception and assumption that females are meant to be homemakers whilst their male counterparts are viewed to be effective and progressive leaders. It was identified that many career advancement struggles and hardships faced by females are attributed to societal stereotypical beliefs and assumptions, other barriers identified are gender stereotyping and female leaders not effectively supporting other aspiring female employees in their career advancement. Finally, the study revealed that organizations do not provide additional support structures such as telecommuting, flexible work arrangements and child care facilities for their employees. The study recommends that organizations become more engaged in supporting their female employees by providing them with flexible work arrangements, telecommuting and child care facilities to create a more conducive work environment.

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Master’s Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.

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