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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Masters of Business Administration
Title Exploring gender inequality in management within the textile and clothing industry of Botswana
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL http://repository.nwu.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10394/17664/Ranthokwane_K.pdf?sequence=1
Abstract
The textile and clothing (TC) industry is one of the oldest and largest export
industries in many countries including Botswana. Botswana established the textile
and clothing (TC) industry during the period 1980-90 and the sector expanded
rapidly as a result of the trade and preferences available to it under the Southern
African Customs Union (SACU) agreement, the Cotonou Agreement and the African
Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The textile and clothing industry is a huge
generator of revenue and one of the biggest employers, especially of women.
Employees in the textile and clothing industries to have low skill levels, low levels of
education and thus earn low wages.
Gender inequality is a worldwide problem. Countries are trying by all means to
improve gender equality in the workplace but there is little progress. Women are still
under represented in the upper management positions. Under the textile and clothing
industry, they are hired mostly as low-skilled labourers in most of the countries such
as Botswana.
The main aim of this study was to explore gender inequality in the textile and clothing
industry of Botswana; to review literature on gender inequality in the workplace; to
determine the demographic representation of females and males in the textile and
clothing industry of Botswana; to identify criteria used to hire employees; to identify
barriers for women to be promoted and or hired in management positions, and to
determine the effects of gender inequality in the production and or performance of
the textile and clothing industry. The study used the quantitative and qualitative
methods. Primary and secondary data were utilised in this study. The secondary
data included a literature review and the companies‘ personnel files. The researcher
collected first hand data by the administration of a semi-structured questionnaire.
Non-probability (convenience sampling) and probability sampling techniques (simple
random sampling) were adopted for this study. In total 47 participants from the textile
and clothing industry, (17 management team members and 30 low-skilled labourers),
participated from eight (8) selected companies in Gaborone, out of 84 targeted
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sample group from 12 Companies. The quantitative data was analysed using the
descriptive statistics, namely, frequencies and percentages. The data was illustrated
using tables, pie charts and graphs. Analysis of the qualitative data was carried out
on the written response from the open-ended questions in the questionnaires. The
responses were coded to make the data actionable. The data was also illustrated
using tables and graphs.
The key finding of this research is that gender inequality does exist in the textile and
clothing industry. More females are hired as low-skilled labourers compared to their
male counterparts. Notably, males occupy more of the high rank positions than
females in the textile and clothing industry. Females mostly occupy the
administration positions such as Human Resources Manager and not the hard core
managerial positions of production. The findings from the low-skilled labourers and
management team participants from the textile and clothing industry reflect that there
are more females (87 %) than males (13%) hired in the textile and clothing industry
of Botswana. The majority of the female participants were from the low-skilled
labourer category while the vast numbers of the male participants were in the
management team participants. Furthermore, the study revealed that the majority of
the participants from the management team in the management positions are males
(76.5%) and few females (23.5%).
It has been revealed that the reasons the textile and clothing industry prefer to hire
more females compared to males under low-skilled labourer category is because;
females are loyal; committed to work; always meet their targets; forthcoming to look
for a job in the textile and clothing industry than their male counterparts; not difficult
to supervise or work with, and do not disappear from work compared to their male
counterparts.
The study discovered that there are obstacles for women to be promoted and/ or
hired to management positions. From the findings of the study, the barriers for
women to be promoted and/ or hired to management positions are said to be; low
qualification, maternity leave, continuous sick leave and not forthcoming to apply for
management positions. Furthermore, literature revealed the barriers for women to be
hired and/ or promoted to management positions as gendered role expectations,
cultural and stereotypical attitudes, family responsibility which contributes to the low
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representation of women in the positions of power and decision-making and lack of
women in senior positions.

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