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China remains Asia’s diversity leader with more women in management roles


Updated: 14 Apr 2016

China continues to lead its Asian peers when it comes to gender diversity in the workplace, says recruiting experts Hays. According to Hays, China has retained the top position in the region when it comes to the number of women in senior management roles.  

The news, revealed in the recruiter’s 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide, comes in advance of International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March.  

Across Asia, Hays found that China remains the region’s diversity leader, with 36 per cent of management roles held by women. This figure is unchanged year-on-year and compares favourably with the Asian average of 29 per cent. 

China was followed by Malaysia (34 per cent, up from 29 per cent last year), Hong Kong (31 per cent, down from 33 per cent last year), and Singapore (27 per cent, unchanged year-on-year). Japan is still falling behind in the diversity stakes, with women in the country filling just 19 per cent of management positions. Critically, this is up from 15 per cent one year prior. 

According to Hays, although progress is being made gender diversity remains a business critical issue.   

“It seems remarkable in this day and age, given all the research espousing the benefits of a gender diverse workforce, that women are not equally represented in leadership positions, and supported and encouraged to reach their career goals,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia.  

‘Make It Happen’ is the International Women’s Day 2015 theme, which calls for greater gender equality.  

“To do that, there still needs to be more workplaces that embrace flexible working practices, highlight female role models, change organisational policy in support of gender diversity, and give better board backing for diversity issues. 

“Interestingly, the dialogue about how to achieve gender diversity in the upper echelons of management has turned away from quotas, with most people now saying that implementing quotas would not make real change happen. Instead, cultural change and practical measures are the agreed solution over formal quotas. 

“One of the best practical measures is to put performance-related promotion policies in place. This ensures that people are promoted based on their performance alone. It also helps build a culture of meritocracy and helps to remove unconscious bias from the decision making process. 

“If those in charge can’t make it happen, it might take the leadership of the next generation to action real change and close the gap between the number of male and female leaders. 

“We will continue to monitor this trend in future years and see how quickly organisations develop (or fail to develop) female talent at the management level.” 

China Get your copy of the 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide by visiting, contacting your local Hays office or downloading The Hays Salary Guide 2015 iPhone app from iTunes.  

In China Hays operates from four local offices: Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou.

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people. 

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About Hays

Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide.  

Hays Specialist Recruitment (Shanghai) Co., Limited ("Hays China") operates across the public and private sector, dealing in permanent positions. Hays China’s eighteen specialisms span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Executive, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Insurance, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Oil & Gas, Property and Sales & Marketing. 

Hays China operates four local offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. It is the local representative office for Hays plc, which is a global company. As at 31 December 2014 Hays employed 8,748 staff operating from 244 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2014, Hays placed around 57,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 212,000 people into temporary assignments. 24% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific. 

Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.