March 08, 2011
Female Business Ownership and Business/Government Leadership Show Room for Growth
Singapore, 8 March 2011: MasterCard Worldwide today announced the results of its latest Index of Women’s Advancement. Australia tops 14 markets in Asia/Pacific that are covered by the Index, with an overall score of 83.8, followed by the Philippines (Index score: 81.5), New Zealand (81.0) and Singapore (76.8), while India (59.6), Japan (60.1) and Korea (60.9) form the other end of the spectrum.
Eleven of the 14 markets have been seeing increases in their overall Index scores for the last three years at least, with India and Korea, despite their overall low scores relative to the other Asia/Pacific markets, showing growth since 2006. China and Vietnam, on the other hand, have seen small declines in overall scores since 2007, while Thailand’s score has been stable since 2008.
The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement is part of a sustained effort by MasterCard to measure the socioeconomic level of women in relation to men across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. This year, it has been refreshed and updated to be a more inclusive, robust indicator of women’s advancement across the region. The Index comprised five indicators: Business Ownership, Business & Government Leadership, Workforce Participation, Regular Employment Opportunities and Tertiary Education. Each indicator measures the ratio of women to every 100 men in each of the 14 Asia/Pacific markets covered by the research.
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. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.
Female business ownership in Asia still has a long way to go. Twelve of the 14 markets included in the research had fewer than 50 female business owners for every 100 male business owners.
Australia (63.3) and India (61.1) scored high in this category, while Japan (28.7), Hong Kong (30) and Taiwan (30.2) had less women for every 100 men owning businesses in their country.
Few markets were encouraging to women business and government leaders, with only six markets having at least 50 women business/government leaders for every 100 male business/government leaders.
Across the 14 Asia/Pacific markets, Philippines was the only market that had achieved gender parity in business or government leadership. New Zealand (76.6), Australia (74.1) and Singapore (67.0) also had a reasonably high proportion of women to men in business/government leadership positions, while Japan (14.6), Korea (18.9) and China (24.1) scored especially low in this category.
Workforce participation rates for women were healthy across most markets, with nine markets averaging over 70 women for every 100 men in the workforce. India ranked poorly in this category, with only 40 women in the workforce for every 100 men, as did Malaysia (56.6), Indonesia (60.6) and Philippines (63.3).
Ten of the 14 markets included in the research offered equal opportunity in regular employment for men and women. The exceptions were India, where women have the lowest regular employment opportunities to men (63.4) of the Asia/Pacific markets, followed by Vietnam (71.9), China (82.7) and Indonesia (88.8).
Enrollment rates for women in tertiary institutions are on par with men across most Asia/Pacific markets, with the exception of Japan (89.6), Korea (72.2) and India (72.1).
In fact, in many markets, women are better represented in tertiary institutions than their male counterparts. This is the case in New Zealand (143.2), Malaysia (136.2), Australia (130.1), Thailand (125.8), Philippines (120.8), China (116.1), Vietnam (109.9), Taiwan (106.1), Hong Kong (105.1).
Georgette Tan, vice president, Communications, Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa, said: “The research paints a very interesting picture of the socio-economic status of women across Asia/Pacific. Overall, it is good to see that the scores have been rising for women in many markets across the region, showing that they are receiving the opportunities to advance themselves.
“While women in many markets have equal access to job opportunities and tertiary education, this is not the case when it comes to top positions in government or business, and few of them are business owners themselves. This indicates that culture still plays a massive role in offering women the environment and opportunities to break the glass ceiling and rise to leadership positions.
“That being said, we have come a long way by giving women access to education and regular employment opportunities, which are essential building blocks to further empowerment, financial independence and leadership.”
|MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement|
|Market||Overall Score||Five Indicator Scores|
|Tertiary Education||Business Owners||Business & Government Leaders||Workforce Participation||Regular Employment Opportunities|
The scores above show the proportion of women to every 100 men for each category. Scores of over 100 are truncated to 100 when the overall Index score is derived, so as to ensure one component does not skew the overall Index score.
The full set of results on the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement can be found at http://www.slideshare.net/MasterCardNews
MasterCard is committed to empowering women through its corporate social responsibility platform (CSR) in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa which is focused primarily on bettering the quality of life for women and children. MasterCard does this by supporting a broad range of women’s and children’s causes through scholarships, financial assistance, educational programs and various sustainability programs, helping provide them with the skills required to stand on their own feet and support themselves and their families.
MasterCard has also devoted extensive resources to developing a deeper understanding of the women's segment in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. It regularly releases consumer insights and trend research on women. These can be accessed at its online repository of proprietary research www.masterintelligence.com
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.