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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0763
Print version ISSN 0258-5200


VAN RENSBURG, Shandré K. Jansen. Doing gender well: Women's perceptions on gender equality and career progression in the South African security industry. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2021, vol.47, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2071-0763.

ORIENTATION: Although significant progress has been made globally in gender equality, women still occupy less political influence, fewer leadership positions and yield less control over their careers than most men. Gender inequality is evident in male-dominated work environments such as the security industryRESEARCH PURPOSE: This study reflects on women's perceptions on gender equality and career progression in the South African security industryMOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: In post-democracy South Africa, women are categorised as previously disadvantaged, therefore a priority group in terms of advancement. However, it is still unclear, from the narratives of the women themselves, how their career progression is encumbered in the milieu of the security industryRESEARCH APPROACH/DESIGN AND METHOD: Through qualitative one-on-one semi-structured interviews, 15 women, working in the security industry, shared their experiences concerning gender equality and career progression. Data were analysed thematically, guided by the context of the gendered security professionMAIN FINDINGS: The findings reveal that women experience slower career progression than men in terms of rejection and work allocation. Moreover, negative perceptions of female leadership among colleagues was a factor hindering career progressionPRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: This study argues by doing gender well, equality in the security workplace can be obtained. Furthermore, the study encourages South African security managers to recognise how aspects such as rejection, work allocation and a negative perception of female leadership may encumber the career progression of female security professionalsCONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The study contributes to scientific knowledge and discourse regarding women's perceptions on gender equality and career progression

Keywords : gender; gender equality; career progression; security industry; rejection; work allocation; female leadership.

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