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Exploration into leadership challenges facing female employees at Telkom head office in Pretoria.

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The Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 (EEA) deals with the achievement of equity in the workplace. This involves the promotion of equal opportunities and fair treatment as well as the implementation of affirmative action measures. Telkom, like many other organizations in South Africa was, and is expected to comply with the Act. Compliance includes the development and promotion of female employees into leadership positions. Very few Telkom female employees are in top leadership positions. Even those that are in top positions have been recruited externally. South African history may play a role in the problem by regarding males as leaders at work and at home. The intention of the study was to explore leadership challenges facing female employees within Telkom and to be able to understand the perceptions and realities accompanying these challenges. Theories based on gender, traits, leadership, the hierarchy of needs and development were used as the theoretical framework in this study. The systems thinking approach was used to assist in looking towards a broader perspective. The population of the study was female employees at Telkom Head Office in Pretoria. From these, twelve served as a sample for the study. In gathering data, semi-structured interviews were conducted. Qualitative analysis was used to analyse data. Analysis and interpretation involved identifying themes, coding and interpretation. The findings in the study are: the strong belief that leadership is solely for males or females is incorrect; there are leadership challenges facing Telkom female employees. The study focused on leadership challenges facing Telkom female employees at middle management, junior management and operational level. These are OP to M4. It is for this reason that the researcher thinks that a future study that will focus on leadership challenges facing top and senior female leaders can be conducted for comparison, as well as another study to ascertain the influence of the working environment on these leaders.


Thesis (M.Com.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville, 2011.


Leadership in women--South Africa., Sex discrimination against women--South Africa., Women--Employment--South Africa., Sex role--South Africa., Women executives--South Africa., Theses--Leadership and management.