Original Research

The role of personal factors and skills development in women’s career advancement

Gaelle Fitong Ketchiwou, Freda van der Walt
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 26, No 1 | a5120 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v26i1.5120 | © 2023 Gaelle Fitong Ketchiwou, Freda van der Walt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 April 2023 | Published: 04 December 2023

About the author(s)

Gaelle Fitong Ketchiwou, Department of Business Management, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Freda van der Walt, Department of Business Management, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa


Background: Women have been climbing the organisational ladder at a slower pace than men. Several reasons have been cited for women’s slow progress to senior positions, but little attention has been given to the role of personal responsibility in women’s career progress. Yet personal factors are vital for skills development and career advancement.

Aim: The aim of the study is to determine whether skills development influences women’s career advancement, and to establish whether selected personal factors influence women’s skills development and their career advancement.

Setting: The study focused on women working in the service sector in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Method: The study was quantitative in nature, and a survey strategy was used. The final sample consisted of 412 women.

Results: The results reveal that personal responsibility is essential for the skills development and career advancement of women. Also, skills development is vital for women’s career advancement.

Conclusion: Women need to take the lead in planning their careers, and they should intentionally engage in developmental activities that influence their career outcomes.

Contribution: Previous research has given little attention to the role women play in their own skills development and career advancement. Also, insufficient consideration has been given to skills development to achieve career advancement. The study fills this gap in knowledge regarding women’s career advancement.


women; workplace; personal factors; skills development; career advancement; South Africa

JEL Codes

D23: Organizational Behavior • Transaction Costs • Property Rights

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 5: Gender equality


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