Working Women In South Africa Report 2024

Working Women In South Africa Report 2024

Welcome to RecruitMyMom, the premier South African recruitment company specialising in placing professional, skilled working women. Trusted by thousands of employers globally, we excel in sourcing permanent, contract, freelance, and independent contracting skilled hires for both remote and in-office positions, offering full-time or flexible part-time solutions. Our commitment to promoting work-life integration and recognising the value of women in the workplace sets us apart.

This report is the heart of RecruitMyMom's dedication to advancing women in the professional space. As an award-winning and recognised female-centric recruitment agency, we aim to effect substantial change in the lives of South African women. Culminating in late 2023, our extensive research on working women provides unexpected insights, shaping the narrative of this report. Focused on the business advantages of attracting and retaining female talent, this report provides strategic insights on achieving this. Join us as we delve into the rich insights within the female professional landscape.

At RecruitMyMom, we understand the importance of finding reliable talent to drive business growth. We take pride in being South Africa's best female talent agency, dedicated to assisting employers in hiring skilled and experienced talent who are qualified and committed to your business growth.

Key Findings

Educated woman

Women are

66% of respondents have a tertiary education.

Ambitious woman

Women are

78% aspire to grow in their careers across all age categories.

Dissatisfied woman

Women exhibit high job dissatisfaction

45% of women currently working indicate they are looking for another job.

Working Location Preference

59% of respondents prefer hybrid working arrangements, 33% prefer remote working, and 8% prefer solely in-office work. Younger women with dependants and women living in townships have different preferences.

Working hours preference

55% of women prefer working full-time hours. This finding comprises 32% preferring full-time hours and 23% seeking full-time hours with a reduced work week. This preference is driven by ambition and economic need.  40% prefer part-time hours.

financially driven

Women are
financially driven

The ambition for career growth and financial stability drives a desire to work. With 80% having dependants and 37% being sole-income earners, financial reward is essential.


Work seniority increases
need for flexibility

At an executive level, 59% of women seek flexible hours, including reduced work weeks and reduced hours. In contrast, entry, mid and senior levels are more evenly split between desiring full-time hours and reduced hours.

career pause

Nearly half of skilled women
experience career pauses

49% have had a career pause ranging from motherhood, mental health, retrenchments and further studies. 95% returned to work after the career pause.

How to Harness the Potential of Skilled Women for Business Growth in South Africa

Skills shortages, second only to the impact of load-shedding, pose a significant threat to business growth in South Africa. Tapping into the underrepresented skilled female workforce and implementing solutions to attract and retain these women throughout their various life stages offers a compelling business growth solution. Increased gender equality is leading to a surge of women entering the workforce. As South Africa grapples with a critical skills shortage, especially at the management level, companies can adapt to this demographic shift to ensure sustained growth.


The Challenge:
A Skills Shortage and Underutilised Talent Pool

South Africa faces a pressing need for a skilled workforce to drive economic growth. Fortunately, a substantial, underutilised talent pool exists within the country—skilled women. Despite having more women with post-secondary education than men, the women's labour force participation rate lags behind men by 10.6 percentage points. Businesses can tap into the valuable and educated female workforce to bridge the skills gaps.


The Opportunity:
Skilled women who want to work

RecruitMyMom is an award-winning and female-focused recruitment company that has successfully placed skilled women into work since 2012. RecruitMyMom and its clients recognise that women, particularly mothers, bring unique skills and perspectives to the workplace. Our research indicates that women are ambitious and need to work. Addressing barriers to female career advancement and offering meaningful benefits can unlock the full potential of this skilled labour force.


Strategies for Success: Attracting and Retaining Skilled Women
  1. Address the identified barriers to career growth. 
  2. Offer benefits that resonate with women to attract them. 
  3. Embrace relevant, flexible work arrangements that attract and retain female talent. 
  4. Future female pipeline retention requires strategic planning.
  5. Embrace career pauses.
A Strategic Imperative for Business Growth

In conclusion, businesses prioritising recruiting, retaining, and advancing skilled women can address the pressing skills shortage and position themselves for sustained growth. Recognising and accommodating the unique needs of this workforce is not just a matter of diversity and inclusion; it is a strategic imperative for unlocking the full potential of the South African economy. Embracing skilled women is an ethical and wise business decision for a prosperous future.

RecruitMyMom Report