Professional Recruitment Services

Gender Inequality In The Corporate World: Insights From Specialists in Professional Recruitment Services

Maria Ramos’s retirement from Absa last year left a startling gap: there are no women CEOs at the helm of any of South Africa’s top 40 largest listed companies. Research shows that despite improvements, women around the globe still earn less than men, and hold fewer executive positions despite achieving higher academic scores. While cultural factors are largely responsible, executive search firm, Mindcor Intersearch Global, touches on some of the limiting behaviours and attitudes of women that may perpetuate this imbalance, from their experience as a company offering professional recruitment services.

Salary Negotiation Skills

While it has been proven that women have excellent mediation skills, when it comes to negotiating their own salaries, they fall short of men. When lobbying for a raise or accepting a position, it is essential to use benchmark research on salaries in your field as a base. Benefits or perks, such as housing or petrol allowances, relocation expenses, or additional leave days comparable to those enjoyed by peers can also form part of the negotiation.

Measurable Outcomes

Men tend to be better than women at linking the benefits of their leadership and executive input to measurable outcomes, such as ROI, cost reductions, and process enhancements. Women who adopt this practice and can translate data into intelligence for strategic decision-making, will smash any glass ceiling. This valuable information can be used to garner the support of colleagues and gain credibility in the boardroom.

Personal Circumstances

Statistics show that women tend to require more flexible work schedules and additional leave/sick days than men (usually related to the demands of motherhood). While flexible work schedules, regardless of gender, can enhance performance and loyalty, if they interfere with project deliverables or quality, they will need to cease. If personal circumstances are not conducive to the demands and commitment required from business, career progression to senior levels will be affected.

Risk Aversion

Risk aversion is widely acknowledged as an impediment to an executive career, and research shows that women are generally more risk averse and exhibit a greater fear of failure than men. When new challenging opportunities and projects are offered, women generally prefer men to take the lead. Men, therefore, get more opportunities to shine and progress their careers than women who avoid risk.


From the perspective of a company specialising in professional recruitment services, career women have the opportunity to address corporate inequities by becoming aware of possible limiting beliefs and behaviours that may block their progress. While society, culture, and business need to take responsibility for closing the executive gap, women too have a responsibility to empower themselves, and accept and adapt to the unwritten rules of the corporate world.

For more information on our recruitment services, or for assistance in harnessing the power of executive women in your business, contact executive search firm, Mindcor Intersearch Global on (011) 551 5500 or through our contact form. In our capacity as a company offering professional recruitment services, we can connect you to women CEOs and executives with proven track records who can take your business to the next level and mentor the next generation of women leaders.