Webinar weighs in on gender parity in public service top posts

The spotlight will fall on women leadership in the public service when two departments host a webinar next week.

The Director-General of the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), Yoliswa Makhasi, and the Director-General in the Presidency, Phindile Baleni, will on Monday host the webinar as part of the national Women’s Month under the theme, ‘The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Realising Women’s Rights’.

The webinar will highlight the challenges faced by women seeking to advance to leadership roles, as well as discuss the effectiveness of measures introduced to prioritize women empowerment and programs that advance the empowerment of women in the public service.

Women make up 53% of public servants, however, they only make up 33% of the senior management.

“This demonstrates that there is a disproportionately negative disconnection between intake of females at lower levels and senior management that must be addressed.

“Women have also shown to be in the majority in learning institutions and various other sectors of society. Yet, this has not fully found expression in the transformation agenda of the public service, especially at the leadership level,” Makhasi said.

As of 31 July 2021, the public service workforce had 1 216 812 employees, and of these, 754 534 (62%) were women and 462 278 (38%) were men.

Representation of women across all levels shows that there are more women than men up to level 10. However from levels 11 to 16, which are management positions, there are more men than women.

The Senior Management Service (SMS) category, which comprises levels 13 to 16, has 9 385 positions, with 4 108 (43.77%) filled by women and 5 277 (56.22%) by men.

The webinar will explore and come with concrete proposals on how to advance gender parity, promote equality and empowerment for women to advance to leadership positions.

The event will also reflect on challenges affecting women daily and workable solutions that could address them, look into programmes aimed at advancing the empowerment of women and girls, including the eradication of gender-based violence.

Source: South African Government News Agency