Gender Transformation Experiences among Women Leaders in the Western Cape TVET Sector: A Narrative Response

René Bonzet, Beatrice Liezel Frick


Leadership structures in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in South Africa face stark gender inequalities. Narratives of women currently in TVET leadership positions in the Western Cape province of South Africa might shed light on gender transformation in this sector. This article provides an insider perspective on 10 purposively selected respondents’ shared experiences during their careers as women leaders through a narrative methodology. The data produced themes like family roles and a professional career balance, stages in becoming a leader, gender-related notions, leadership contexts, and strategies to manage gendered experiences. The analytical framework developed illustrates how these themes were reconciled with a structured method of narrative analysis, described as a problem-solution approach, analysing raw data for five elements of plot structure, namely characters, setting, problem, actions, and resolutions. Aligning the conceptual and analytical frameworks facilitated re-storying inside a plot-structured narrative. The results reported gender transformation progress regarding the career progression of women leaders. Conversely, progress concerning gender stereotyping and men-to-women and women-to-women discrimination was unsatisfactory, causing some respondents to abandon leadership ambitions. Although the small sample size precludes any claim to generalisability, the reported narratives serve as a guideline in addressing all-inclusive gender transformation in TVET college leadership.


gender transformation; equity; women in leadership; narrative study; Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges; conceptual and analytical frameworks

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2019 Rene Bonzet, Beatrice Liezel Frick

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.