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Title: Factors affecting the representation of women in management positions in the petroleum sector in Gabon
Authors: Pounah, Georgie Antonia Awakossa 
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Abstract: Gender inequality in the workplace occurs worldwide, but more so in developing countries where women have been marginalised. In a society where gender roles are culturally constructed, this inequality extends into the workplace, affecting job opportunities, specifically those involving women’s career advancement. Complicating the situation are male-dominated industries that further limit women’s career progression and firmly keep the glass ceiling intact. It is against this background that this research study aimed to investigate factors affecting the representation of women employees in the Gabonese petroleum sector, particularly in management positions. Triangulation involved adopting a mixed methods approach, with quantitative and qualitative information collected from employees in Gabonese petroleum companies. Purposive sampling involved selecting a target sample of women to complete the questionnaires in lower, middle and top level management; and snowball sampling was then used to identify top managers, both male and female, for the interviews. The Statistical Package for Social Software (SPSS 23) was employed to scrutinize the quantitative data, with content analysis of qualitative data. Outcomes of this research study converged on three factors, namely: women’s constraints in the workplace; men versus women in the workplace; and government and organisations’ level of commitment towards women. The main findings were, firstly, that few training and mentoring opportunities for women exists in the petroleum companies in Gabon; secondly, that perceptions of women are based on beliefs and preferences influenced by culture and tradition; thirdly, that hegemonic gender roles contribute to perpetuate barriers (such as gender stereotype, male dominance and family conflict), keeping women at the same level in management positions in the Gabonese petroleum sector; and, lastly, for women to progress in their careers, they need to be supported by Gabonese government policies and organisational commitment. Following on these findings, the researcher proposes a framework to address the three identified factors that restrain females from advancing in their careers and increasing their representation in management positions in the petroleum sector in Gabon. Those factors are detailed towards four themes characterised by different key elements influencing the situation of women in industry, either positively or negatively. Finally, the study concludes with recommendations, aligned to the researcher’s objectives and the findings, to improve the conditions and environment offered to women working in the petroleum sector in Gabon and Africa.
Description: Thesis (MTech (Human Resource Management))--Cape Peninsula University of Technology, 2019
Appears in Collections:Human Resource Management - Masters Degrees

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