News / South Africa

Makhosandile Zulu
1 minute read
17 Apr 2018
1:48 pm

Gender equality at work can promote economic growth in tech industry – report

Makhosandile Zulu

The report released by PwC on Tuesday says women in technology remain significantly under-represented.

Changing gender perceptions and behaviour towards women in the workplace can promote economic growth in South Africa’s emerging technology industry, a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) revealed.

The report released by PwC on Tuesday says the imbalance between men and women in the technology sector is unlikely to be redressed as women remain significantly under-represented.

Women currently hold 19% of technology-based jobs at 10 leading global companies, while men have 81 percent.

The report says 28 percent of women hold leadership positions at the same global technology companies, versus 72 percent of men.

Chief economist for PwC Africa, Lullu Krugel, said the lack of female representation in the workforce was a barrier to gender equality, and that closing the gap would help alleviate poverty while low-income households would receive an estimated 2.9 percent more income than before.

Economists estimated that if the gender gap was closed, both in terms of representation and they pay gap, by 10 percent, South Africa could achieve higher economic growth.

The report further suggests that organisations, schools and universities work together to change perceptions about the technology industry.

Education is one of a multifaceted interplay of drivers that will bring more women into skilled jobs, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Cultivating an interest in STEM fields must start as early as possible, at school and in higher education, from an early age.