PROBING GENDER INEQUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE
By: Mongi Khanyile
Is transformation in the workplace concerning gender inequality still a cause for concern in the competitive marketplace in the South African economy?
Commissioner Janine Hicks, from the Commission for Gender Inequality, said that there is still so much work to do in connection with transformation amongst genders in the workplace.
Hicks said that men who were involved in the struggle get preferential treatment over women who have the necessary qualifications to be in those positions occupied by those individuals.
Bongiwe Khanyile, a teacher from Okumhlophe High School in uMlazi Township said, “I feel gender inequality or transformation in the workplace is not balanced. There are more males dominating positions of authority at the high school.”
Fikiswa Faku is an undergraduate student studying auditing at Unisa, and works for ‘Nexia Levitt Kirson. Faku said that concerning child care facilities and females’ views being taken seriously, all people should be treated equally irrespective of their race or gender. They should be able to voice their opinions openly as well as be taken seriously.
“There are no child care facilities for us at work although we are only postgraduate and undergraduate. There are women who have more than one child and they need to be assisted as most are single mothers,” explained Faku.
Sbongakonke Mbatha, an intern for the SABC commented on equality on salaries amongst both genders for the same amount of work done, working hours and top managerial positions being held by each gender.
“As far as I have seen there is relatively more females in top management positions at our own intellectual institution but gender is never used to discredit male counterparts when it comes to decision making and professional relationships,” said Mbatha.
She added that when it comes to salary statistics, they are not in the slightest manner influenced by the gender you represent but rather by the position you work under and the work you deliver; gender does not determine your pay cheque.
“Working hours are reasonable, relatively flexible if you may put it but work determines the time, it’s not the other way around. You don’t leave until your story (for the day) is done, no matter what. Even if it’s way past your working hours,” concluded Mbatha.
“I work from eight am to four pm, therefore I have no time to fetch my child from crèche, I’m also a single mother and it is tough. It would be so much more convenient if there were child care facilities at work,” said Pinky Zondi, an employee at the South African Revenue Services.