Title page for ETD etd-06092011-093645

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Matsaba, Mohla
URN etd-06092011-093645
Document Title Why are there so few women on South African company boards?
Degree MBA
Department Gordon Institute of Business Science
Advisor Name Title
Dr M Adonisi Supervisor
  • board diversity
  • women directors
  • company boards
Date 2010-11-10
Availability unrestricted

The purpose of this research is to investigate why there are so few women on South African company boards. Since the first democratic elections in South Africa, diversity has been in the focal point to correct the discrimination and inequalities of the past; however the gender diversity has not been very successful on company boards.

Exploratory or qualitative research methodology was employed based on semistructured interviews with a non-probability sample of 13 respondents. All respondents were women who served on company board as directors. They were from various sectors of the economy and served in various capacities on the boards.

This study found that the market and the shareholder profiles have diversified considerably, however the company boards have not changed significantly. The gender gap maybe narrowing on company boards however the levels of discrimination and inequalities are still very high. Gender stereotypes continue to inform many decisions in business, including those of board appointments.

The study also found that for transformation to occur successfully, leadership had to play a major role. Government has implemented sound regulatory systems that encourage diversity and it is now up to the leadership in companies to take the responsibility and give women opportunities to participate in business through boards.

Government, through policies and regulations, continue to play a crucial role in facilitating transformation however the pace of change remains sluggish. Leadership has a critical role to play because the purpose of the policies and regulations is not only to get companies to achieve compliance, but to create equal opportunities for all South Africans.

Copyright 2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Matsaba, M 2010, Why are there so few women on South African company boards, MBA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06092011-093645/>


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