Women in Tourism Entrepreneurship in South Africa: Is it a Man’s World?

  • Athenkosi NtanjanaEmail author
  • Jacqueline Mangwane
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 171)


Globally, the number of women in entrepreneurial spaces is on the rise as the world witnesses a pursuit of a more gender-equal society. Despite several countries having legislation in place that allows women to start and grow their own businesses, women still face gender-specific challenges in their entrepreneurial journey. Research shows that the tourism industry is dominated largely by a female workforce, due to the prevalence of jobs associated with femininity in particular in the hospitality sector of the industry. In spite of this however, women are mainly employees in tourism organisations that are owned and man-aged by men and there is still a need to promote women-owned tourism businesses. This article explores the prominence of women in the tourism entrepreneurial space in South Africa. The challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in the tourism industry will be evaluated. The researchers look into privileges awarded to males by society from birth, as well as the effects of socialisation in women who aspire to be entrepreneurs. The differences in the experiences of male and female entrepreneurs in tourism are detailed in attempt to ascertain if the notion that “It’s a man’s world” still applies in the 21st century tourism boardroom.


Tourism Entrepreneur Gender Discrimination Male Privilege 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tshwane University of TechnologyPretoriaSouth Africa

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