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Gender parity sluggish in APAC

Anuradha Shukla | March 2, 2015
Women under-represented in leadership roles.

Gender parity is still sluggish in Asia Pacific despite an increase in number of educated women in the region.

A new report by MasterCard indicates that women are still under-represented in the areas of business leadership, business ownership and political participation.

"Study after study shows how public and private sector companies - and their bottom lines - benefit from having more women in leadership. In fact, companies with more women in leadership outperform those who do not, so the male dominance of leadership roles should be concerning," said Georgette Tan, group head, communications, Asia Pacific, MasterCard.

There is a strong correlation between tertiary education attainment and business leadership in markets such as the Philippines and Thailand.

Women in India, South Korea and Bangladesh have fewer opportunities than men when it comes to secondary and tertiary education.

The Philippines recorded the highest ratio of female-to-male business leaders for the ninth consecutive year.

Achieving gender parity

Gender parity index is greatest in New Zealand, followed by Australia, the Philippines and Singapore. However, much more needs to be done to achieve gender parity in India and Bangladesh.

Thailand recorded the largest decline overall in gender parity while Singapore had the largest improvement from first half of 2014.

Women are on par or better represented in secondary and tertiary institutions than their male counterparts in New Zealand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Also, women across the majority of markets in Asia Pacific (except Indonesia and Malaysia) are making progress towards becoming as economically active as their male counterparts.

"In a highly competitive global market, companies are beginning to understand why integrating talented women into leadership structures is imperative for sustainable economic growth and innovation in both developed and developing markets," added Tan. 



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