Discrimination against the women in top management positions: a case study of selected Universities and Polytechnics

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The study describes, examines and analyses how women occupying top positions are being discriminated against in their bid to climb higher the administrative ladder. The study which was conducted in some selected tertiary institutions had the following objectives: To identify and examine the reasons why there are only a few number of women at the top administrative hierarchy in the tertiary educational level especially universities and polytechnics. To find out what problems confront women in their professional advancements and how women managers relate to their male and female counterparts at the workplace. The methodology used involved a survey and desk study. A set of questionnaire was administered to women in top management positions who formed the sample population. An interview was also conducted on the sample population to find out some of the obstacles women in management positions face and how they see the gender imbalance. Among other things the study showed that, women after passing through the various stages in education to obtain the right qualifications and employment, at the workplace most of them are not given the chance by their male counterparts because of tradition and discrimination to train and upgrade and develop their skills for the next higher position. The study also revealed that over 87% of the male colleagues work to sabotage and suppress the efforts of leading women to get them out and relegate them to the background. However, 23% of the women indicated that they have not experienced any hostilities from their male counterparts. It was observed that 64% of the respondents indicated that, the solidarity of women at the office was very weak and as such the males have capitalized on it to ‘rule’ the women. Governments have relaxed in the implementation and enforcement of affirmative action arrived at conferences. Based on the empirical findings the recommendations made among others are, female education should be continued at the workplace. Government, NGOs and Women agencies should assist women to take up the challenges that face them at the managerial positions. Women must be supportive of each other in their endeavours to reach the top positions. The males, who take interest in harassing and discriminating against women at the workplace, should be sanctioned.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Economics and Industrial Management in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Arts degree in Industrial Management, 2002