Gender Disparity In Relation to Managerial Positions in the Organizations in Mombasa County: Case of County Government of Mombasa.
This chapter introduces the study by looking at its background and stating the problem. It further gives the objectives of the study, research questions, and significance of the study, its scope, the assumptions and the conceptual framework.
This research seeks to unravel the factors for gender disparity in managerial positions within Mombasa County. To increase understanding of factors affecting women this study focuses on diverse factors that affect the development of women in Mombasa County.
Background of the Study
Studies on the status of women in four Kenyan universities, public and private established that women are still a minority in senior positions. The only senior position with equal numbers of men and women was that of librarian, which women dominate even in other parts of the world. It was noted with concern that in one of the very established public university in the sample, there was no female full professor. This is also evident in senior management positions in Mombasa County (Kamau, 2006).
Women admittance to top management positions is still severely restricted in Mombasa County though females frequently match or exceed their male counterparts in terms of formal qualifications and technical know-how. Indeed, it is in the world of corporate business that the glass ceiling has proved most impenetrable, with a mere 2-3 per cent of top jobs in large corporations held by women (ILO 1998).
Given the existing shortage of highly qualified managers, glass ceiling still persist in an era of equality policies and improved educational opportunities for women. This persists despite the fact that women have demonstrated their intellectual capacity, resourcefulness, leadership and management abilities in many walks of life.
The problems facing women access to management positions in Mombasa County go beyond pure economic factors and are also as a result of discrimination, social/cultural, educational, gender and political forces. Despite progress in the public sector and in the political arena, their progress does not generally extend to the top levels of management (ILO 1998). To this end the study sought to evaluate the factors that affect the progression of women to top management positions in corporate organizations in Mombasa County. Previous reports indicate that only 29 percent of those earning a formal wage throughout the country are women, leaving a huge percentage of women to work in the informal sector without any federal support. The effect is severe with nearly 40 percent of households are run solely by women and, because of a lack of fair income, nearly all these homes suffer from poverty or extreme poverty.
Women continue to be educated at an inferior rate to their counterparts, increasing their reliance upon men. They are also limited from owning, acquiring, and controlling property throughout Kenya, regardless of social class, religion, or ethnic group. If women attempt to assert property rights over men or in-laws, they are often ostracized by their families and communities. This practice of disinheritance seems to be on the rise, particularly in areas hit hard by poverty.
Although Kenyan women have joined the labour force in large and increasing numbers over the last two decades due to increased access to education, the majority of them are still concentrated in traditional "female occupations” and the informal sector. The urban labour force participation rate for women in Kenya has increased from...