Gender dynamics: The challenges faced by women employees in the workplace. A framework for women academics in South Africa

  • Vongai S. Ruzungunde
  • Sindiso Zhou
  • Shingirayi F. Chamisa
Keywords: role overload, role conflict, women, glass ceiling, discrimination, stereotyping


The involvement of women in the academic field has seen them taking up roles formerly believed to be for men only. Women have expanded their career aspirations shifting from traditional confined roles which poses negative and positive outcomes for women academics particularly towards their jobs. This study investigated the challenges women employees encounter in the workplace. It presents a proposed framework based on the role overload and the role conflict theories. Survey questionnaires were used to collect data. The simple random sampling technique was used to select respondents. Microsoft Excel was used to interpret and understand the prevailing challenges confronting women academics in institutions of higher learning. The findings identified that most women in organisations face challenges from work-family conflict, discrimination, glass ceiling, wage gap differentials, stereotyping and sexual harassment. The study also established that challenges like sexual harassment are difficult to address as more female employees are afraid to report such cases. The study calls for the revision and strengthening of the existing labour laws in South Africa and also serve as a point for literature and theoretical development in future. The study directs the government into the achievement of the strategic objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Key words: role overload, role conflict, women, glass ceiling, discrimination, stereotyping


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eISSN: 1596-9231