Driving Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace

Interviewing a manager

Diversity is what you have, inclusion is what you do.

From the silver screen to sport, government legislation to the workplace, the importance of diversity and inclusion has taken centre stage in recent years, with the topic high on the agenda for South African employers.

Robert Walters UK have gathered insights from 9,000 professionals, looking at diversity and inclusion through the lenses of age, ethnicity and gender.

The report focuses on gender disparities that persist in the workplace.

Key findings from the UK research:

  • 41% of women have a lack of opportunities at work
  • 1 in 5 women know what they need to do to get a promotion
  • 50% of women have never negotiated a pay rise
  • 1/2 of women are unsatisfied with their pay

The top three challenges to progression at work were lack of opportunities, cited by 41% of female professionals, balancing work and family, cited by 35%, and lack of training, cited by 24%.

Over a quarter of men (27%) claim to know what they need to do to get a promotion versus less than a fifth of women (19%). Some 21% of women want more support from management to understand routes to promotion.

22% of women, versus 13% of men, reported that a lack of confidence was a barrier to progression.

A third of men and women reported that they struggled to equally balance their work and family commitments. According to the research, flexible hours is ranked as the most preferred work perk, by 63% of women and 48% of men respectively. 

What can be done to establish a diverse and inclusive workforce in South Africa?

Top 5 barriers to diversity:

  1. MIRROR HIRING - Managers prefer to hire like-minded people instead of hiring a diverse mix of people.
  2. UNCONSCIOUS BIAS - Employers fail to identify and/or manage unconscious bias during hiring and promotion decisions.
  3. WALK THE TALK - Management speak about the importance of diversity but don’t back this up with effective action.
  4. HOMOGENEOUS LEADERSHIP - A lack of diversity at the top of the organisation hampers efforts to achieve diversity more broadly.
  5. MISSING THE POINT - The benefits of diversity aren’t fully understood by management.

We speak to inspiring female professionals in South Africa on their career success and advice around diversity in the workplace:

Download the UK Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace: Striving for Gender Parity to enhance your D&I strategy.

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