Social dynamics shaping women managers’ work experiences
Mpho Prudence Nyetanyane * and Freda van der Walt*
Central University of Technology, Free State, South Africa*
Abstract: The study sought to explore social dynamics that shape women managers’ work experiences within the context of male-dominated working environments. The qualitative study involved eight female managers working in male-dominated working environments in various industries. The sample consisted predominantly of black females between the ages of 24 and 43. Data was collected through one-on-one interviews, and it was analysed thematically. The findings of the study reveal that women managers need social support in order to function effectively and that they are experiencing various social constraints, such as being regarded as the ‘out-group’ and gender stereotyping. Given the social constraints that the participants are experiencing and the need that they have for social support, it is necessary that South African society develop a more active and authentic commitment to gender equality, in order to bring about gender transformation in workplaces.
Keywords: women managers, male-dominated working environments, social constraints, social support, social dynamics, gender stereotyping