Tidimalo Padi - Associate Director/Principal
Holbourne Advisory recently conducted an analysis of the gender diversity in senior technology roles in the South African market and a qualitative survey of the experiences of senior female leaders in these roles.
This study is based on a sample of 152 South African companies and it indicates that, on average, only 15.3% of executive technology roles are currently occupied by women. Moreover, very few executive committees have a Chief Information Officer (CIO),Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or any other technology focused roles (regardless of gender). The most progressive industry with regards to the representation of women in technology roles is the FMCG sector and the least transformed industries are mining and construction.
In addition, Holbourne Advisory conducted one on one discreet and confidential interviews with 10 women in senior technology roles in order to understand their lived experiences. The findings suggest that:
1) benevolent gender bias is still perceived to exist in the workplace;
2) women exhibit self-bias; and
3) various extraneous variables such as a lack of mentoring and coaching may all inhibit women’s progression into senior roles within technology.
Solutions to these inhibitors could include creating networks for women in technology roles which currently do not exist; creating an environment that encourages women to take on challenging roles or projects; creating a more flexible working environment; focusing on career development initiatives geared at women in technology roles, among others.