Women constitute forty six (46) percent of the economically active population in South Africa. Although both South African, African men and women are well represented in the economically active population, questions arise when it comes to their presence and effective representation at higher decision-making levels. Indeed, while African men and White women are present, White men dominate in top management. Through a gender analysis of current data on the labour force, this paper examines women’s representation in top decision-making for all employers (government and business) in South Africa. In discussing the trends, the paper highlights gender disparities in the advancement of women into top decision-making positions. The analysis further explores and identifies areas that need redress in bridging the gender divide in top management not only because of employment equity requirements, but also for the good business sense it makes to include women in leadership. The contribution of this paper lies in its identification of the barriers to women’s advancement in business leadership and the recommendations for policy and practice both at the micro- (firm) and macro- (national-) levels.

Author Biography

Catherine Ndinda, Human Science Research Council, Pretoria and Research fellow of School of Politics University of KwaZulu-Natal

Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, School of Politics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.