White men are still over-represented in top and senior management in most workplaces and are still benefiting from promotions, skills training and recruitment practices.

These are the findings of the Commission for Employment Equity, which released its annual report in parliament yesterday.
The commission found that Western Cape was lagging on employment targets, both in government and the private sector.
Covering 2007 to 2011, the report focuses on workplaces with 150 or more employees that are required by law to report their employment equity targets every year. The commission found that, despite whites making up only 11.9% of the economically active population, they accounted for 65% of all top managers and 59% of all senior managers.
White males still constitute 55.2% of top managers despite their numbers going down by 3% since 2007. White females, on the other hand, make up 10.2% of all top managers. Africans make up 18.5% of all top managers, 13% of them male and 5.5% female.
The commission said it was worried that the number of African females at top management had dropped by 0.4% since 2007.
“Notwithstanding the fact that [the numbers of] white males are dropping at this level, opportunities seem mainly to benefit Indians, coloureds and white females,” the director of employment equity at the Department of Labour, Ntsoaki Mamashela, said when presenting the report.
She said the commission was even more concerned that whites were benefiting more than other racial groupsin terms of top management promotions and recruitment.
“More worrisome to the commission is that whites also dominate all opportunities in terms of recruitments, promotions and skills development initiatives that employers are embarking on.
”[This means] that, as much as they are dropping and being terminated, at the same time we bring them back in terms of our recruitment drives and promotional opportunities,” Mamashela said.
Food and clothing retailer Woolworths was threatened last week with a boycott by people angered by its employment practices.
The company had placed a job advertisement that specified that only Blacks, coloureds and Indians should apply. Woolworths later explained that these ethnic groups were under-represented in some areas of its business and it was trying to remedy this.
The employment equity report found that whites dominated in senior management, making up 59.1% of all senior managers; followed by Africans at 21.8%, Indians at 9.6% and coloureds at 7%.
White males make up 43.9% of senior managers; African, coloured and Indian females combined hold just over 10% of all senior management posts.
An assessment of the pool of professionally qualified employees found that though whites still dominate at 42.3%, their numbers have dramatically gone down since 2007, dropping by 14.9%.
Africans were the biggest beneficiaries in those years, their representation increasing by 12.2%.
Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said cabinet had approved amendments to employment equity legislation that would make it easier to enforce the law and impose higher penalties, linked to company turnover, for non-compliance.


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