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Why women don't rise in the workplace: Robert Walters survey

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PEOPLE feel women are under-represented in leadership positions at work because of a mix of family commitments, a bias favouring men in promotions, and workplace culture, according to a survey by recruiter Robert Walters.

PEOPLE feel women are under-represented in leadership positions at work because of a mix of family commitments, a bias favouring men in promotions, and workplace culture, according to a survey by recruiter Robert Walters.

Robert Walters has released a paper based on a January survey of 4,400 clients and active job seekers across Asia-Pacific.

Out of the 171 people in Singapore, one in two women surveyed feel their organisation lacks a fair and equal representation of female business leaders.

Asked to name the top three reasons why that is the case, 37 per cent of all Singapore respondents, including male and female, cited family pressures or commitments outside of work.

Another 32 per cent said it is due to a preference by management to promote men over women. And 30 per cent cited a workplace culture that does not actively foster diversity, inclusion and equality.

However, Singapore fares favourably gender-wise on the leadership diversity perceptions front compared to the region as a whole.

In Asia-Pacific, four in five women think women are under-represented, versus one in two women in Singapore. Asked to name the top three reasons for under-representation, 51 per cent of all respondents (including male and female) cited family pressures, 46 per cent cited work culture, and 42 per cent cited management bias in promotions.

Mark Gabel, Schaeffler Singapore's head of aerospace, said in the report: "I think women especially have to push their case, even if it makes you uncomfortable that you have to speak clearly of your achievements."

Tricia Duran, Unilever's Singapore human resources (HR) director and a regional HR director of functions, said: "I don't think gender diversity is exclusive to me as a woman - everyone should have access to equal opportunities."