Bangalore: Women are still facing barriers to leadership positions in the government and private sector in India and across the Asia/Pacific region, according to MasterCard’s latest Index of Women’s Advancement.
Scores are indexed to 100 to indicate how close or how far women in each market are to achieving socio-economic parity with men. A score under 100 indicates gender inequality in favor of males while a score above 100 indicates inequality in favor of females. A score of 100 indicates equality between the sexes.
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.
The education ranking of 79.3 shows that Indian women have access to secondary and tertiary education, but there are barriers preventing them from taking top positions in the government or private sector, as indicated by the leadership ranking of 15.9. Hence there is clearly much work to be done to remove such institutional barriers thereby allowing women to take up these leadership positions in business and government.
Again the employment ranking of 43.6 shows that some immediate improvements are required to enhance women’s participation in the workforce and to ensure that they are able to find regular employment.
Overall the survey indicates that there is a lot of room for improvement and a clear need for affirmative action to ensure Women’s advancement in Indian society and the workplace.
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.”