Despite all that the government is doing to ensure gender and racial equality in the state, report shows that white males are still having the upper hand in the state’s corporate work places.
Giving its annual report in Pretoria this Monday, the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) reported that the racial profile of top management has been occupied by white males though the percentage of whites at this level of the corporate structure declined last year.
CEE chairperson Commissioner Tabea Kabinde who was speaking on the issue at a media briefing, said the commission is worried at the slow pace of change
Kabinde further pointed out that white males have the highest opportunities for skills development and are promoted at higher rates than other groups. To her, though they appear to be exiting these top positions‚ they are still being recruited in high numbers by companies.
Speaking further on the disconcerting issue, the Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said the regression in some areas was “regrettable”. The objectives of the Employment Equity Act and the “legitimate expectations” of the people were far from being achieved, she added.
The commission’s report showed that whites represented 70% of top management in 2014, but this dropped to 68.9% in 2015.
The African representation rose from 13.6% to 14.3% in 2015 while male dominance remained largely unchanged sliding from 79.1% in 2014 to 78.6%.
Foreign nationals at top management also remained almost unchanged at 3.5%. Whites at senior management declined slightly over the year from 59.3% to 58.1% and Africans rose from 20.5% to 21.2%.
“This picture is not achieving what we want it to achieve in terms of the advancement of [previously disadvantaged] groups in top management‚” Kabinde said.
However, strong gains were made by Africans in the professionally qualified category where their share rose from 36.7% to 41.2% with whites declining from 41.9% to 38%.
In the skilled technical category,Africans shear still remained stable at 58% while the whites continued to be the main beneficiaries of skilled development and training. The percentage shares of blacks, coloreds and Indians remained largely at 17.9%‚ 3.3% and 6% respectively
“We are quite concerned about this and we are saying it’s time to engage more with the private sector‚” Kabinde said as she recalled the 2015 Jack Hammer Executive Report which revealed that black South African CEOs declined from 15% in 2012 to 10% in 2015.
Kabinde concluded by saying that the rate of termination and recruitment of individuals from the white groups “almost nullified attempt to shift the demographics in favour of the designated groups”. But this could be changed if top managers try to strategically prioritize employment equity.