The Role of Affirmative and Employment Equity on Empowerment

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1106 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Nov 8, 2019

Words: 1106|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Nov 8, 2019

It is clear from the above literature that it is possible for women in mining to be empowered by Affirmative Action and Employment Equity, but they find it difficult to gain respect they deserve from males; there can be deduced that most of the participants are unaware of the empowering by these policies. As an example, participant A stated: “Affirmative Action and Employment Equity hey, it affects my life at work, but you can differentiate between them, it depends on yourself. But as I later found out, the longer I am in the mine industry, I found that you cannot, how can I say, please everyone. Do you understand? Sometimes the male workers feel you are only here because of the policies.”

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And participant B mentioned: “The balance that you try to maintain, is difficult, between being empowered and just do what you must and nothing more, because you can never say when you will ever be promoted or will be heard by other.” And participant C also mentioned: “You know, I can generally say from my experience in the mining industry that with the type of work we do there is not really interaction between you and the male workers and you are treated differently…” and “I try in a large extent not to let male workers influence me, but because of our kind of work and the fact that we have to work with heavy tools sometimes, you cannot always prevent it.”

According to Dikane (2006) empowerment in the workplace can be defined as giving employees a certain degree of autonomy and responsibility for decision-making in their daily work and employees get empowered to let them step up, make their own decisions and pave their own path to success, it creates a better workplace culture.

Most employees in the mining industry work with heavy duty equipment and tools and it is clear from the literature that it plays a key role in empowering female employees with or without the Affirmative Action and Employment Equity policies. It is clear from the data that the participants experience working with heavy duty equipment differently and have separate ways of dealing with it. Some of the participants express how Affirmative Action and Employment Equity influence their job as a female worker in a mostly male industry, participant A stated: “Yes, the work is sometimes difficult, I am working as a artisan for 20 years now, most of the time I still feel that I only got the job because of the policies which states females must be appointed, because at work I am still being treated as a female and males still think I cannot do the work that they can do. Even with the policies, males get promoted first.”

The Employment Equity Act seeks to promote equality in the workplace, eliminate unfair discrimination, and ensure the implementation of Affirmative Action measures to redress employment disadvantages experienced by designated groups. However, more recent studies showed that every individual experience the influence of Affirmative Action and Employment Equity in a separate way and states that when it is conceived correctly it is directly linked to satisfaction. It is clear that Affirmative Action and Employment Equity is not always used correctly in the mining industry and this can influence the employees’ satisfaction.

From the above literature it is clear that some of the participants find it difficult to keep see if Affirmative Action and Employment Equity empowers them in the workplace. Some is insecure about their place in the workplace when competing to male workers and if Affirmative Action and Employment Equity really does play a role in empowering them. An example of what one participant stated that clearly showed insecurity, participant A also mentioned:

“As I know Affirmative Action should help previous disadvantaged groups to grow, but in mining it is different. Females with the same education as males will not necessary get the promotion, because is still shows that most people think females cannot do all the work which males do in the mining industry.”

Participant B mentioned ways they see empowerment by Employment Equity and Affirmative Action:

“Like I got promoted to a master electrician above some male although I have less experience, since I got my job a few years back I decided that I will proof people wrong and that I am capable of doing what is expected of me and Affirmative Action and Employment Equity gave me the help that I needed to empower myself.” And participant J mentioned:

“Man, sometimes, we all come together (males and females) and we discuss what is expected of who, it almost sorts out everything. Most males treat me fair and I believe with the help of some policies I would still achieve a lot more in my career.”

In the mining context, Affirmative Action and Employment Equity does not empower women like it should, women in mining will learn several types of cultural knowledge including assumptions, values, cognitions, and behavioral norms of the organization. It is more beneficial for women in mining to be extroverts rather than introverts because of the fact that they must spend most of the time building good relationships to empower themselves

It is evident that women in mining experience a lot of different emotions when it concerns their empowerment at work. To determine factors which are important to achieve satisfaction with empowerment is a found to be a challenge for researchers, but more than a decade ago it was implied that emotional intelligence, which is measured as Emotional Quotient (EQ), is a key factor to determine satisfaction. According to McCrae (2000) emotional intelligence can be defined as soft skills or inter and intra-personal skills, that are outside the traditional areas of specific knowledge, general intelligence, and technical or professional skills. Emotional intelligence allows us to think more creatively and to use our emotions to solve problems. It is clear from the data collected that women in mining experience a lot of emotions when it comes to negative empowerment and that they sometimes find it difficult to handle. Participant A answered: “Sometimes, frustration, anger, do you understand?” And participant G stated: “In our situation it is sometimes difficult to restrain your temper and stuff at work.” And participant F also mentioned the way she handles her emotions: “No, I will perhaps discuss my frustrations, try to discuss what bothers me, but I will not take my work problems home.”

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Some people can handle their emotions better than others. Negative feelings in the workplace can cause emotions of frustration and anger. Techniques must be learned in order to gain power to control negative feelings.

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The Role Of Affirmative And Employment Equity On Empowerment. (2019, September 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from
“The Role Of Affirmative And Employment Equity On Empowerment.” GradesFixer, 13 Sept. 2019,
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