A recent survey from eFinancialCareers indicates that women in the Asia Pacific region fare better than their counterparts in other areas of the world. Asia Pacific took the top spot with 84% of respondents saying that they would recommend their company as female friendly. This figure trumps even progressive regions such as the United States and Europe who were rated at 82 and 80 percent respectively.
In the region where gender equality was rated the highest in the world, Singapore proved to be one of the world leaders in this respect. The financial services industry in Singapore topped the list of all nations that were surveyed with 87% of respondents saying that their employer is female friendly and 81% saying that discrimination against female professionals was not a factor.
The female friendly environment that exists in Singapore’s financial sector has been attributed to a few key factors. Institutional gender diversity programs from both government and employers have helped to place women on an equal footing with their male colleagues. Along with that, there are certain societal differences that exist in Singapore that help women to achieve. One such societal factor is the availability of live-in domestic workers that help women to manage the home, which allows them a greater ability to continue their work after they have children.
While the survey does paint a picture of gender equality in the Asian financial services industry, there are still some issues that have been raised as to whether women are getting fair opportunities to succeed in management positions. Results from the survey showed that only 60% believe that Singaporean women are equally represented in senior positions and only 54% believe that they are equally paid for their work.
It is great to see that the Asia Pacific and more specifically Singapore have become world leaders in gender equality. It shows a lot of progress in a profession that is traditionally perceived as a male dominated field. However, some problems do still exist and having the position of a world leader in this regard does not mean that these issues can be ignored.