China Strong on Gender Diversity at Workplaces, but Cultural Diversity Continues to be a Challenge

March 3, 20168:20 am5533 views

China remains strong on gender diversity with 32 per cent of its management roles filled by women – a drop on the 36 per cent reported in last year’s Hays Guide. However, China is also the country with the smallest proportion of foreign nationals in its workforce at just eight per cent. This exemplifies the fact that the country is slow, when it comes to embracing cultural diversity in the workplaces.

Across all countries, 51 per cent of organisations report having formal diversity policies and procedures in place, while 30 per cent have nothing in place and 19 per cent are unsure of what their organisation was doing on diversity.

Of those with a formal diversity program, only 20 per cent claim their company adheres to policies and practices “well”. A further 34 per cent claim to adhere to policies and procedures “fairly well” while, seven per cent admit not doing well at all, and a hefty 39 per cent were unsure of their organisation’s performance.

According to Hays, diversity in all its forms is about providing organisations with a greater range of options when it comes to talent and workforce strategies.

The Hays Salary Guide 2016 highlights salary and recruiting trends across Asia drawing on data provided by more than 3,000 employers across Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Japan representing over six million employees.

“Both gender and cultural diversity strengthen the problem solving abilities of an organisation and promote a greater range of knowledge and experience to share across the entire workforce,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia.

“Localisation efforts rightly protect local employment markets where there is suitable local talent available, but in the current climate critical skills shortages exist. Companies able to tap into a global talent pool will perform better than those that must leave key roles vacant or make do with lesser qualified candidates.”

See: China to lay off millions in biggest retrenchment program in nearly 20 years, sources say

Highlights from the China Gender Diversity Report by Hays are as below:

  • 13 per cent of men compared to 28 per cent of women think that equally capable male and female colleagues are not paid or rewarded in an equal manner.
  • 24 per cent of men compared to 47 per cent of women do not believe that the same career opportunities are available to all, regardless of gender.
  • Across all industries, 40 per cent of the entire survey pool said their organisation does not have a gender diversity policy in place, and a further 24 per cent were unsure. Alarmingly, even when policies are in place one in four respondents (23 per cent) say they are not adhered to “at all”.
  • To achieve gender diversity, 71 per cent said that better board backing for diversity issues would have the biggest impact. By contrast, just 16 per cent of respondents believe gender quotas can have a big impact; instead better board backing, changing organisational policy and allowing more flexible working practices is the key.

“The same can be said for those companies actively building their pipeline of female talent. When promoting from within, organisations that actively practice gender diversity have a much bigger talent pool to choose from,” said Christine.

Also read: Talent Landscape in China Set for Change: 51% Employers Plan to Increase Headcount in the First-Half of 2016

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