Gender equality in the workplace still has a long way to go. According to the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report in 2015, the annual pay for women only now equals the amount men were earning 10 years ago. Employee sentiment in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia does little to encourage the prospect of change in the coming years according to the latest Randstad Workmonitor research.
Randstad’s global Q3 2016 Workmonitor report looked at employee sentiment around the gender gap. The research measured the preference employees had for a direct manager to be male. Globally, 65% of all respondents stated they preferred a male boss.
In Southeast Asia, we saw an even higher percentage of employees who prefer working for a male boss. Respondents in Singapore (76%), Hong Kong (78%) and Malaysia (73%) surpassed the global average by a good margin, the highest globally after Japan (80%) and Greece (80%).
Women in the region also declared a strong preference for male direct bosses, with women in Singapore (74%), Hong Kong (74%) and Malaysia (63%) beating the much lower global average of 58%.
Despite numerous research reports highlighting the continuous pay gap between genders, 79% of employees globally felt that men and women who are in similar roles were rewarded equally. This perception was equally reflected in the region – with respondents in Singapore (81%), Hong Kong (81%) and Malaysia (83%) echoing similar sentiments.
Managing Director for Randstad Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, Michael Smith expressed his concern over the results, “The Workmonitor results show a worrying trend in this region with such strong preferences for having male bosses in the workplace – despite open discussions around the issue of gender equality going on around the world.”
“Corporate and government initiatives are just a start, but for real change to take place, the issues around gender equality need to be recognised and mind-sets need to evolve. As a staunch supporter of gender equality in the workplace, I expect to see these sentiments slowly change for the better over the coming years as traditional family structures, where the notion of men being the sole family breadwinner, are starting to be challenged in the region,” Smith added.