S.Africa's women earn almost 20% less of what men make - CNBC Africa

S.Africa's women earn almost 20% less of what men make

Southern Africa

by Trust Matsilele 0

Monash University's Esther Benjamin says nurturing women for leadership should start early. PHOTOS: returnofkings/cdn

Statistics South Africa showed that women with tertiary education make 82 per cent of what men earn.

Monash South Africa chief executive officer lamented these developments saying it was unfortunate in this age and time.

(WATCH VIDEO: Advancing women in leadership with Dudu Msomi)

“It is unfortunate to see some of those statistics, it is unbelievable that in the 21st century this is still happening,” Esther Benjamin told CNBC Africa.

“We need to address this anomaly one organisation at a time and one industry at a time,” she added.

Benjamin said that it was imperative to invest in women education as to bridge the divide between women and men.

“There is nothing more important than investing in women’s education. At Monash University’s student bodies, women account for about 52 per cent,” Benjamin said.

“We are seeing that trend worldwide with women pursuing their education as higher education is key to opportunities that come their way.”

Benjamin said there were more women in top positions and she hopes that in the coming decade even more high level women will occupy key positions.

She notes that at Monash University nearly half of leadership team is comprised of women.

Benjamin dispelled the outright dominance of males across all sectors saying there were sector variances.


“It varies from sector to sector whether it’s private, government or non-governmental organisations, there are different numbers of women at the top level,” she said.

“Leadership should be nurtured from a very early age, on our campus we have a Saturday school where we are educating young students from as young as grade seven.”

(READ MORE: Nurture girls from a young age to aspire to be leaders: Ramano)

Benjamin says hard work is one of the keys to success.

“There is no substitute to hard work just like what the celebrated author Malcolm Gladwell says in the book called Outliers writing about investing 10 thousand hours in any given field to become an expert,” adds the former top official in US President Barack Obama’s administration.

She adds that coupled with hard work, integrity, honest and giving back were some of the elements she found important for one’s success.