Reported on: July 05, 2012 15:01 PM
Reported in: National
Dhaka, July 5 (UNB) - Fewer women make it to the boardroom of companies in leading Asian economies, including India, creating a shortage of talent that is hurting the growth of the region, a top consultancy firm's report has said.
Women hold eight per cent of executive committee seats in the Asian firms, still lower than the average of 10 per cent in Europe and 14 per cent in the US, consultancy firm McKinsey & Company said in a report to be released on Wednesday.
The survey of 1,500 senior managers and research of 744 exchange-listed companies across the region byMcKinsey & Company, suggests that increasing the number of women in high-level positions can improve companies' financial performance and countries' economic expansion, the Wall Street Journal reported.
It called the numbers in Asia "strikingly low". "It's a huge waste of talent, as half of Asian graduates are female. And it is a waste that Asian companies can ill afford, given the severe shortage of senior managers in the region," said the report titled "Women Matter".
The list was topped by Australia, Hong Kong and China with reasonable woman presence in the boardroom who accounted for 13, 9 and 8 per cent respectively in top jobs.
South Korea, Japan and India languished at the bottom of the table listing countries according to the woman presence in the boardroom with females accounting for one, two and five per cent respectively.
"Double burden" of career and household duties was an important reason for them to quit jobs.
"Women tend to be stronger in terms of collaboration and people development, while men tend to be stronger in individual decision making," says Wang Jin, a Shanghai-based principal at McKinsey who helped author the report.
"By having more women at the senior level, companies are helping to improve organisational health as well as financial performance," he said.
In Asia, "there's a much stronger barrier in terms of the expectation that women have to (stay home) to take care of their families," Wang said.
In McKinsey's research, an average of 30 per cent of senior managers surveyed said that many or most women who reached the middle and senior levels of management and left their jobs voluntarily, did so due to family commitments.
Another problem is that a lower percentage of women are in the workforce in Asia. In India, which has one of the world's lowest female labour participation rates, only a third of women work. In Taiwan and Malaysia, less than 50 per cent of women work.