GENDER AND LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES: FROM DEBATE TO ACTION

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What's new?. Contestations around the relationship between gender and leadership abilitiesGender

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GENDER AND LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES: FROM DEBATE TO ACTION

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1. GENDER AND LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES: FROM DEBATE TO ACTION By Dr MMA Maharasoa Chief Director: Higher Education Policy Central University of Technology, Free State P/Bag X20539 Bloemfontein 9300

2. What’s new? Contestations around the relationship between gender and leadership abilities Gender & Leadership studies reveal convergent and divergent views

3. The bad news… Perpetual under-representation of women in leadership Nations forfeit possible benefits of diversity “In history only 42 have ever served as presidents or prime ministers ….” (Adler 1999)

4. Figure 1: Woman Corporate leaders as a proportion of corporate leaders

5. Figure 2: Census pyramid

6. The big question Are men and women equally capable of succeeding in Leadership roles? Qualities of a good leader Competent Principled Trustworthy Motivational Confident & Committed Dynamic Transformational

7. Arguments for degenderised leadership Women leadership in pre-colonial era exuded success Participative approach High levels of integrity Lack of selfishness People orientedness Empowering (Carli & Edgly 2001)

8. Sensitive, warm, tactful, expressive, & nurturing transformational leadership Men on the other hand: Task oriented Initiating structure Competitive Hierarchical authority Emphasis on control (Engen, van der Leeden & Willemsen 2001)

9. Obstacles Management styles Socio-economic background i.e. gender, class and education levels Bias in the evaluation of women leaders Higher expectations from women leaders i.e. combination of agentic qualities with communal qualities Work-family conflicts Gender stereotyping

10. Obstacles continued…. Women’s exclusion from networks Glass walls and glass ceiling The “Queen bee syndrome” Fear of success Lack of aspiration and motivation The colonical mentality (Mkhonza 2004)

11. Contexting the debate Sound legislative framework Deficiencies in implementation Gender inequalities

12. The case of the Free State Province Challenges Free State economy under-performing Second highest incidence of HIV & AIDS Higher infant mortality (FSPGDS 2005 – 2014) Questionable service delivery at municipal levels

13. Challenges continued … Women have a leading role to play: Women are change agents Concerned with the “Common good” Tendency towards lower levels of corruption (World Bank) Low empowerment of women hampers human development (Arab Human Development Report 2002)

14. Strategies for empowering Women Identify and track High-potential women Institute mentorship and coaching Rotate women across functions and ensure they have experience of line assignments Take risks with women and offer them visible stretch roles Implement succession planning

15. Strategies continued… Help employees balance work and personal responsibilities Hold Managers accountable for women’s advancement Create networks for women Create a comprehensive, sustained initiative.

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