PwC representatives discuss gender balance as women's month kicks off

09 August 2019 2 min. read

Women’s month is officially underway in South Africa, sparking discussions once again surrounding the status of women in the country’s workplace and economy. PwC leaders in South Africa have reiterated the human and economic value that gender equality can generate in the country. 

With South African Women’s Day coming up on 9th August, the country continues its journey towards a more balanced social scenario. South Africa is among the top 20 countries in the world when it comes to gender equality in the work place, although the scenario is far from equitable.

Women in the country not only face a glass ceiling when it comes to rising through organisational ranks, but they are also paid a significantly lower amount than men. PwC reports that there is not a single female CEO in the top 40 companies that are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

Outside of the top 40, less than 4% of all companies on the JSE have female CEOs, highlighting the shortage of women in senior positions across the country. Leaders in outh Africa’s business environment are not unaware of the situation, and have been investing in creating a more equitable environment.

Women's Month at PwC South Africa

Earlier this week, global management consultancy Accenture teamed up with industry leaders Nedbank, MTN and Business Engage to organise a cross-sectoral event in South Africa, where business leaders could exchange ideas on how to collaboratively improve the country’s gender balance.

According to PwC, such efforts have previously come to little avail, which can be attributed to a lack of clear direction when it comes to promoting gender diversity. Representation at senior levels is crucial to alter the scenario.

“Women’s month serves as a reminder of the urgency for closing gender imbalances in the workplace throughout South Africa. Achieving gender parity throughout the workplace is one of the most critical challenges that business leaders face today. The quality of women’s talent and leadership is very important to business - the skills and experience that they bring, including that gained outside of the workplace, has proven to be essential in strategic decision-making and in ethical, sustainable enterprise,” said Anastacia Tshehane, who is the Diversity & Inclusion Leader at PwC Southern Africa.

Anelisa Keke, Senior Manager at PwC’s People and Organisation division added, “There is a need for diverse representation in boardrooms throughout corporate South Africa. Despite the broad acknowledgement that gender and diversity concerns should be addressed there is a lack of clarity as to what steps should be taken to effect lasting change in this regard.”