While over 40 percent of South Africa’s working population are women, surveys reveal that they comprise fewer than 20 percent of corporate leaders. Why do so few women reach the top?
By Tracy Burrows Additional reporting by Bontle Moeng, Nkuli Mngcungusa and Stuart Lowman.

“Whers in the past, women used to look at men CEOs and think about what it would be like to be in their
position, now things have changed and women are saying ‘I will have your position’,” says Brigette Reynolds, MD of Gestetner Tshwane.

Despite Reynolds optimistic words, and while it is true women are entering the formal sector in their millions, relatively few of them are reaching the top of the “corporate heap”. This was corroborated by ITWeb’s Salary Survey 2005.

Proportionally, there were far fewer women in strategic management (8 percent) than there were on operational management (18 percent) and staff (21 percent) levels.

Similarly, the recent South African Women in Corporate Leadership Census 2005 found that women make up only
19.8 percent of all executive managers, 10.7 percent of all directors and 6.2 percent of CEOs and board chairs in South Africa.

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