That ceiling feeling: So many suits, so few women

That ceiling feeling: So many suits, so few women

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. India ranked lowest in the Asia-Pacific region when it came to women occupying the top positions on different organisations.

Of the 14 Asia-Pacific countries surveyed by MasterCard, India ranked lowest in the categories measuring the employment and educational status of working women with scores of 43.6 and 79.3 respectively.

On the leadership scale, Japan was the only country scoring behind India with 14.2, while India scored just 15.9. In comparison, New Zealand, Australia, Phillippines and Singapore scored 51.6, 49.7, 45.6 and 36.5 on the leadership scale.

On an overall basis, New Zealand ranked first with an index score of 77.8, followed by Australia (76), the Philippines (70.5), Singapore (67.5) and Taiwan (64.7). At the other end of spectrum, India (38), Japan (48.1) and Korea (49.7) had Index scores indicating that much more can be done to achieve gender parity, MasterCard said.
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, the survey noted.

“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,” the survey said, pointing out “a clear need for affirmative action to ensure women’s advancement in Indian society and the workplace”.

The ‘MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement’ measures the socio-economic standing of women across the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The index comprises three main indicators which are derived from additional sub-indicators: employment (workforce participation, regular employment), education (secondary education, tertiary education) and leadership (business owners, business leaders, political leaders). Each indicator measures the ratio of women to every 100 men in each of the 14 Asia-Pacific markets covered by the survey.

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 favour of males while a score above 100 indicates inequality in favour of females. A score of 100 indicates equality between the sexes.

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