• PwC surveyed over 3,600 professional women to mark international women’s day.
  • 63% of South African women have aspirations to be a top level executive, according to the report.
  • South Africa still has a long way to go as Barclays Africa's CEO, Maria Ramos is still the only female CEO out of the country's Top40 JSE listed companies.

PwC conducted a comprehensive study of over 3,600 professional women (aged 28-40) to find out among other things, their career aspirations.

The report was befittingly released today on international women's day. The survey included women from employers across 27 industry sectors and from over 60 countries including South Africa. 

63% of the surveyed South African women have aspirations to be a top level executive, according to PwC Southern Africa which also found that women are confident, ambitious and ready for what is next, but many do not trust what their employers are telling them about career development and promotion. 

Women still remain underrepresented in the higher echelons of corporate South Africa with Barclays Africa's CEO, Maria Ramos as the only female CEO out of the country's Top40 JSE listed companies. 53% of the South African respondents answered that an employee's diversity status (gender among them) can be a barrier to career progression in their organisation, says PwC Southern Africa.

Maria Ramos is the Chief Executive Officer of Barclays Africa.

CEO for PwC Southern Africa, Dion Shango, says this is a systemic issue that cannot be attributed to individual circumstances; it is endemic to organisational structures, cultures and practices.

“Business leaders need to focus on creating a more transparent working environment where women – and men - can have open conversations on performance and progression benchmarks. Greater transparency won’t benefit only women; it will foster more inclusive environments, which give everyone greater opportunities to fulfill their potential,” he says.

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