Percentage of women in leadership positions in financial institutions in Asia
Diverging numbers and uneven progress can be seen among the five Asian markets covered – Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Japan and Singapore.
A recent analysis by Deloitte highlights the proportion of women in leadership positions in financial services institutions (FSIs) in Asia. Diverging numbers and uneven progress can be seen among the five Asian markets covered in the report across the three types of roles studied:
- C-suite: C-level roles at the corporate leadership level (e.g., CEO, CFO, CMO).
- Senior Managers: Non-C credential managers (e.g. Line of Business Leaders, Division or Regional Leaders, EVP, SVP or equivalent). Depending on the institution, this may be one to three levels below the C suite.
- Next generation: Manager or equivalent titles under senior management.
We have extracted the key data for your easy reading:
Data from the past two decades reflects a gradual growth in the share of female roles in all role categories. Currently, women occupy 17.4% of management positions. However, forecasts show that the C-suite will grow to 14.8% and next-gen to 23.5% by 2030.
Overall, the public is more accepting of women in leadership positions and the government has made gender equality a core objective of its social development policies. Through legislative and administrative measures, the government also allocates resources to help women achieve equal rights in political, economic, cultural, social and family life.1
Recognizing that women have faced greater hardship since the start of the pandemic, efforts are underway to rethink and reshape the future of work and workplace culture through provisions such as greater flexibility in working hours, paid mental health leave and an additional 30 days of maternity leave.
Hong Kong SAR
The analysis of the previous two decades of the share of women in leadership positions reflects a remarkable growth of 12.5 pp and 8.5 pp in the senior management segment. However, growth has been gradual over the past few years, influencing forecasts to 2030. Recognizing that supporting the advancement of women can be a competitive advantage, HKSAR FSIs are taking steps to further foster the gender equity and make diversity an organizational priority.
Historically, the lack of flexible work hours has been a barrier for women trying to advance in the workplace and for organizations seeking to retain them. Offering solutions such as flexible work hours, technology-enabled remote work, mentoring and buddy programs, and creating a culture where innovation is encouraged improves outcomes for women.
The digital transformation in the financial services industry has also driven the need to develop and retain STEM talent. As an international financial hub, FSIs in Hong Kong SAR should look to their next-generation segment to meet the demand for STEM leaders.
The C FSI suite segment in India has grown by 5pp over the past two decades. However, India could potentially face a pipeline problem as the share of women in the C-suite is expected to grow at a much faster rate compared to leadership and next-gen positions.
And while women around the world tend to spend more of their time than men on unpaid work, this is particularly acute in India. Given this, WSIs should focus on meeting childcare needs and providing flexible work options to retain women, especially at the next generation and senior management levels. .
As in many industrialized countries, in Japan, capitalizing on female talent could be essential in a context of a shrinking workforce. The forecasts for 2030, which are weighted by the most recent gains or reductions, reflect a decreasing share of leadership and management positions.
The reasons for the slow growth and relatively low proportion of women in leadership positions are, in part, deeply rooted in the cultural fabric of the country, leading many women to prefer non-managerial part-time jobs. Additional factors that impede women’s career progression include bias against female executives, long working hours, limited childcare options, a tax system that prioritizes sole breadwinners over families with two incomes and the absence of role models.
However, organizations are under pressure to improve gender diversity; companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange are now required to publish their diversity policies and objectives. And the government has extended the deadline to meet its target of 30% female participation in leadership positions until 2030.
A recent survey on the promotion of women in Japanese companies revealed that the overall share of women in management positions is 8.9% across all sectors and highlights the gap between the government’s target and the Japanese society today. It will take time at the governmental and organizational level to work its way into accepted long-term business practices, but with the support of stakeholders, equitable outcomes can be within reach.
Interestingly, Singapore is the only country in Deloitte’s analysis that plans to achieve parity in next-generation roles by the end of the decade. Although there has been double-digit (18pps) growth in the share of women in the C-suite over the past 20 years, its forecasting model reflects a reduction in the C-suite to 15.3% by 2030. At the same time, the share of senior management positions is expected to remain constant at 24.5% until 2030.
The fact that the Singapore government has made diversity a priority should help reverse the predicted decline. In fact, many Asian markets, including Singapore, offer low-cost childcare options, including live-in domestic workers, and government childcare subsidies that women should capitalize on to secure themselves. that they are not disadvantaged when they have children.
THIO Tse Gan, Head of Financial Services Sector, Deloitte South East Asia, said: “Historically, the lack of flexible working hours has been a barrier for women seeking to advance in the workplace and for financial institutions seeking to retain them. Changing: As one of the world’s leading fintech powerhouses, Singapore’s financial services industry has quickly embraced flexible working hours; technology-enabled remote work; mentoring, alliance and sponsorship programs; and innovative cultures – all of which have been shown to improve outcomes for women.”
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