Think manager, think male, gender equality, the less achieved promises of modernity

a case of the national department of human settlements in South Africa

  • Sibongile Nxumalo Department of Human Settlements
  • Mankolo Lethoko University of Limpopo


For several decades, numerous legal, regulatory and social mechanisms have been adopted to accelerate the progression of women in higher managerial levels of organisations worldwide. In South African, there is a plethora of policies and practices related to gender equity. However, the equality of men and women in the workplace and shattering the glass ceiling is still a myth worldwide including in South Africa. The article will investigate the barriers that hinder women from qualifying and attaining senior management positions and underlying factors and variables that relate to promotion of women into managerial positions in the National Department of Human Settlements in South Africa. The article used both interviews and questionnaires to collect empirical data. The results of the study also show that there are significant inroads that have been made in the upward mobility of women but not significant enough to match their male counterparts in all levels of management. The article will also make recommendations to the department as to how they can improve the existing situation.

Author Biographies

Sibongile Nxumalo, Department of Human Settlements

Department of Human Settlements University of Limpopo South Africa

Mankolo Lethoko, University of Limpopo

University of Limpopo, Turfloop Graduate School of Leadership, Polokwane, South Africa