Zama Khanyile is a champion for women empowerment at the National Empowerment Fund in South Africa. She says there is still a large discrepancy between the sexes when it comes to the opportunity to be appointed to leadership positions at C-Suite and board level.
“At entry-level recruitment, it seems like there is a balance between men and women. The challenge is that women are being lost during the leadership journey, which leads to too few women making it to the top. Now, less than 30 per cent of women make it to leadership level, despite research showing that gender diversity adds value to business. Yet women are not given the exposure and opportunity to prove themselves as leaders,” she says.
The stats, says Khanyile, are even worse for black female professionals who have the added microaggression of race hindering their success. “We have racial segregation that colours the waters for black women.”