Perceptions Held Towards African Female Leaders in The Financial Services Industry Based on Scheinís Descriptive Index (SDI)

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Zandile Sanelisiwe Moleko & Wilfred I Ukpere


Previous researches indicate a lack of representation of women within leadership roles. This presupposition is a universal phenomenon requiring extensive focus. Within the South African context, this lack of representation is exacerbated by the intersection of race and gender, against the backdrop of the historical context. Legislation and organisational practices have made progress in increasing race and gender representation in leadership roles within organisations, however, the pace of progress is slow, and barriers remain pervasive. Within the financial services industry, and banking specifically, organisations seem Western and predominantly represented by white males in leadership, thus making the advancement of African females into leadership roles a challenge requiring further attention. This paper examines the perceptions held towards African female leaders within the financial services sector, with special focus on the banking industry. A quantitative approach was employed through the distribution of questionnaires based on Scheins Descriptive Index (SDI). The results were analysed through factor analysis and indicated three factors considered to be positive and thus perceived as characteristic of African female leaders and two factors considered to be negative and thus perceived as non-characteristic of African female leaders.

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