Experiences of young women in managerial positions at an Insurance Company based in Johanesburg Central Buisness District

Dikgole, Seshegele
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In South Africa, studies has shown that women are still discriminated when it comes to fulfilling their leadership roles, even though the country has developed laws and policies promoting equal rights for all. Thus the study seeks to understand the experiences that young women are facing in managerial positions. The purpose of this research study is to explore the experiences of young women between the ages of 25-45years in managerial positions at a well-known Insurance Company based in Johannesburg Central Business District. Based on a comprehensive research literature review, it is proven that women still face many challenges when taking on leadership roles in the corporate world. Women in South Africa have an important role to play in enhancing socio-economic growth so it is important to explore the challenges and opportunities they experience in the leadership positions. The research study has taken the qualitative research approach, namely a case study. Data was gathered by conducting personal, in-depth interviews with five women in managerial positions. The study has adopted the feminist theoretical framework, which argues that men and women should be given equal chances in all forms of life. The findings indicated that women are still underrepresented in managerial positions in which there are few numbers of women that hold the managerial positions. Furthermore with this few numbers, they face challenges engaging in the fields dominated by men. The young women’s leadership authority is undermined as they often not have the same share of voice with their male colleagues within boardrooms as they often look down at them. They also experience racist and sexist within their working environments in the form of stereotyping. Balancing work and home life was seen as a challenge for women in managerial positions. Keywords: Women’s experiences, Leadership, Feminism, Employment Equity Act
In partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Social Work