Empowering gender inclusivity in Asian workplaces

Despite an improvement in the workplace environment for women, organisations can do more to create a more gender-inclusive workplace.
By: | November 6, 2023
Topics: Asia-Pacific | News

Organisations in Asia must prioritise transparent visibility of opportunities, workplace flexibility, and access to opportunities to create a more gender-inclusive workplace.

Agoda’s Women in the Workplace: Asia study, which surveyed 12,000 people across 10 Asian markets, found that these three factors ranked higher than both pay parity and parental support in terms of importance to employees.

The findings also revealed that the age of respondents played a more significant role in shaping opinions than gender, with different age groups prioritising different factors. For example, while transparent visibility of opportunities ranked as the top priority overall, it was less important to 18 to 24-year-olds (38%) than those over 55 (49%). Non-binary respondents, on the other hand, were more focused on social inclusion, professional inclusion, and balanced representation within senior leadership.

Eliana Carmel, Chief People Officer at Agoda, emphasised the importance of these findings for employees in Asia, highlighting the necessity of a culture that fosters social and professional respect, clear career paths, and a defined vision of success to attract and retain top talent.

The study also examined the issue of the glass ceiling in the workplace. Nearly half of the participants (46%) believed a glass ceiling for women still exists in their respective markets, with significant variations across countries. A smaller proportion of male and non-binary respondents (41) believed in the glass ceiling compared to females (52%).

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The study also noted the impact of gender discrimination on attrition rates, with the 18 to 24 age group more likely to quit due to discrimination.

Despite these challenges, the study found a positive trend, with nearly seven out of 10 respondents believing that the workplace environment for women has improved over the past five years. Japan and South Korea were less likely to perceive improvements, while the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand reported significant progress.