Harassment and discrimination experienced by quantity surveyors in South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • SDG 10
  • Abstract:

    English: This article examines the workplace discrimination and harassment experiences of professional quantity surveyors in South Africa and explores the relationship between harassment, discrimination and perceived workplace stress. An online survey is administered and 177 responses (12.2% of the target population) received. Descriptive and inferential statistics are used to analyse the response data. A minority of respondent quantity surveyors claim to experience workplace harassment and discrimination on gender and ethnic grounds. Respondents also indicate that they feel underpaid and that their ethnicity adversely affects their job security. The article reports on sexual harassment and gender-based harassment and discrimination. Harassment and discrimination are found to correlate with higher perceived levels of workplace stress. Strategies designed to address and counter harassment and discrimination in quantity-surveying practices should be implemented or reinforced as part of broader stress management programmes. Employers have a major role to play in this, but professional associations should also take part. Previous research into work stress focused on the experiences of workers in developed countries. This research provides insight into the problem of workplace harassment and discrimination in the unique context of post-apartheid South Africa. It supports the link between harassment and discrimination and perceived levels of personal stress in this context.