n South African Journal of Labour Relations - Gender-based discrimination during appointments, promotions and remuneration : views of South African managers

Volume 38, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0379-8410
  • E-ISSN: 2520-3223



Managers are key in the appointment, promotion and remuneration of staff, and as such, they are actively involved when discrimination occurs in the workplace. This also applies to gender-based discrimination. The objective of the current research was to identify the points in human resource processes where gender-based discrimination most often occurs, as seen and experienced by managers. Interviews were conducted with 75 managers from 15 organisations. Questions were posed about the prevalence and nature of gender discrimination during different human resource processes. The responses were categorised and the overall inter-observer reliability was .88. Most cases of gender-based discrimination occur during promotion processes, and this generally involves pro-female discrimination. Pro-male discrimination occurs at appointment level and is often due to the inherent requirements of the job. Discrimination at remuneration level seems to favour men, allowing them to receive higher salaries than women at the same organisational level. Discrimination occurs in structured (e.g. job descriptions) as well as less structured (e.g. decision-making after interviews) phases of human resource processes. It can be concluded that gender-based discrimination still occurs and that both genders are affected negatively. It is recommended that managers be vigilant in order to avoid these discriminatory tendencies.

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