South African quantity surveyors: issues of gender and race in the workplace

A web-based questionnaire survey of the opinions of SA quantity surveyors was undertaken to establish gender- and race-based differences in job satisfaction. Issues explored included demographic factors, issues of gender and race in the workplace, and gender and racial harassment and discrimination at work. ‘Significant’ differences on the basis of gender exist on a number of issues. Women, more than men, have strong positive feelings regarding their levels of job satisfaction, feel that their career expectations have been fulfilled, would choose the same career again, and would unequivocally recommend the career to others. Females see QS practices as male-dominated, see themselves as being blocked from advancement to managerial ranks, participating less in decision-making, and remunerated at a lower level than equivalent colleagues. Issues important to women include: gender representivity in the profession, flexible working hours and maternity leave above the statutory minimum. Although both gender groups report racial harassment and discrimination at work, women experience significantly more sexual and gender harassment and religious and gender discrimination than do males.