Mistresses of the (Emerging) Universe: Changing Dynamics of Market Feminism in the South African Financial Industry

Nicolaas T. Strydom

The financial industry is generally understood to be a man’s world, designed for men by men. During the last few decades, however, strides have been made towards a financial industry that is more gender inclusive. This paper attempts to understand the socio-economic drivers that drove a progression towards market feminism (the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities to participate in and benefit from a certain market where goods and services are exchanged) in South Africa. The progression towards market feminism can be divided into three phases, namely: (1) the formation of an androcentric market, (2) the gradual inclusion of women in the activities of the market, and (3) the emergence of a feminist market where women participate in and equally benefit from the activities of a certain market. This may be used as a theoretical base to explore the progression of other markets towards market feminism.