Women are still facing barriers to leadership positions in government and private sectors across the Asia/Pacific region, according to MasterCard’s latest Index of Women’s Advancement.
The Index measures the socio-economic standing of women across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, comprising three main indicators : Employment (Workforce Participation, Regular Employment), Education (Secondary Education, Tertiary Education) and Leadership (Business Owners, Business Leaders, Political leaders). Each indicator measures the ratio of women to every 100 men in each of the 14 Asia/Pacific markets covered by the research.
Overall, amongst the 14 Asia/Pacific markets, New Zealand ranked first (77.8 Index Score), followed by Australia (76.0), the Philippines (70.5), Singapore (67.5) and Taiwan (64.7). At the other end of spectrum, India (38.0), Japan (48.1) and Korea (49.7) had Index scores indicating that much more can be done to achieve gender parity.
MasterCard’s research on women’s advancement shows that while more women have access to job opportunities and tertiary education in Asia/Pacific, there are still barriers preventing them from taking top positions in the government or private sector.
Georgette Tan, group head, Communications, Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa, said: “There is still a lot to be done in our region to enhance the role of women across all aspects of society; there are still too few women leaders in government and business, and not enough women-owned and run businesses. There are standout markets which have repeatedly improved in terms of advancing opportunities and access for women, but more needs to be done.”
Parental childcare entitlement tops the list of key policy areas that women in Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea see as crucial for advancing women’s role in society. This comes as little surprise, considering the pivotal role of Singaporean women in the household – according to the same survey, the majority of Singaporean women manage household finances, savings and investments, and are the decision makers for their children’s education.