[University of Stellenbosch Business School] USB’s Prof Anita Bosch partakes in round table held by women-led WDB Investment Holdings

Prof Anita Bosch, Research Chair: Women at Work at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), was recently invited to participate at a round table on the future of women at work. This virtual seminar was hosted by Women’s Development Business (WDB) Investment Holdings and the International Women’s Forum South Africa (IWFSA). The event was attended by leading female executives and gender rights campaigners.


Prof Bosch conveyed contextual issues relating to women in leadership and the gender pay gap in South Africa, as well as reasons for persistent gendered patterns in South African workplaces.


She said: “It must be stated that South Africa remains a deeply patriarchal society with cultural norms, upheld by both men and women that place men as leaders and women as caregiving supporters. Whilst this ordering may be useful in some households, it does not contribute to women’s economic advancement.”

The University of Stellenbosch Business School, under the auspices of the Research Chair for Women at Work, will embark on a research project on gender pay governance this year. Prof Bosch and her team will also continue with their work on pay transparency – where they compared systems in 16 other countries. “The King Codes should provide more explicit guidance on measures for gender pay parity. And unless legislation has teeth, gender pay parity will remain elusive. Pay certification by employers may be another avenue to equalise pay,” Prof Bosch suggested.

“Measures such as The Workplace Gender Equality Agency of the Australian government should be considered, however, we should also be mindful of the culture of punishment that we may be cultivating over time by merely placing legal obligations on companies without incentivising good transformation practices sufficiently. Pushing through with policy measures that have not been deliberated from all stakeholder perspectives may not be helpful,” she said.

She also added that “whilst the South African constitution does not allow for quotas, numerical targets should be driven with greater focus, similar to procurement targets from women-owned businesses”.

Prof Bosch said all South African women are not the same. “Our structural positioning in present day practice and lived experience should be taken into consideration when crafting policy. It is not only women board members and leaders that need policy support but indeed all the women – from the ones that take care of households to the ones that have reached the highest echelons of workplace power.”


Read more here: https://www.usb.ac.za/usb_news/prof-anita-bosch-partakes-in-round-table-held-by-women-led-wdb-investment-holdings/