Factors affecting rise of women into leadership positions in the commercial security sector in Zimbabwe: a case study of Securico Security Services
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The aim of the study is to provide an in-depth analysis of gender based challenges faced by women in the commercial security sector. Gender roles model and glass ceilings model are the theoretical underpinnings which are used to explain the gender based challenges in the commercial security sector. The study was to establish whether male and female managers possessed similar credentials and the challenges which females faced in their quest to become managers and also after they have been appointed as managers. The study focussed on females who were employed in middle management at Securico Security Services head office in Harare. A descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out among female managers at Securico Security Services to establish the challenges they faced in trying to become managers and now as managers. The company’s human resources director was interviewed in order to have an in-depth view of the company’s gender policy and promotion policies. The study found that the company did not have a specific gender policy in place. It was also found that there was no deliberate policy of discriminating on the basis of gender in allocating duties at the organisation. Female managers were of the view that their promotions had taken longer than their male counterparts. Some females had been overlooked for promotions which were given to lower qualified and less experienced males. Females who were managers did not find it easy to have the respect of their subordinates who sometimes openly disrespected them. They also perceived that their chances for further advancement were lower than for their male counterparts. The study concluded that impediments for female advancement still existed in the workplace. The study recommended that companies should conduct leadership training programmes for male and female employees to ensure that they are equally prepared for leadership in the organisation. Further studies can be conducted to investigate why the numerous protocols on gender equality have failed to deliver real change in some sectors.