Hong Kong HR directors believe societal perceptions impact women’s career advancement

08 December 2013

Hong Kong, 9 December, 2013– Society’s perception of women’s role and the lack of work-life balance are holding women back from advancing in their career as compared to men. This is according to a survey conducted by Robert Half, the world's first and largest specialised recruitment firm.

 

In the survey, HR directors were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with a list of reasons why female employees were not climbing the career ladder as fast as their male counterparts.

 

At the top of the list were societal perceptions of women’s role, with 43% of respondents agreeing that this was one of the reasons why women were not advancing in their career. When compared, the responses from men and women varied and it became more apparent as 58% of female HR directors said that societal stigma was holding women back.

 

Other reasons why females may not be progressing as fast in their careers as their male counterparts include lack of work life balance (41%), being over-emotional in the workplace (37%), and the desire for women to be liked by their peers (35%).

 

Ms. Pallavi Anand, Director of Robert Half in Hong Kong, said:“It is a concern but not entirely surprising to see that many working women in Hong Kong are battling against pre-conceived notions that their place is in the home and that they need to take career breaks for motherhood.

 

“This is however, beginning to change. The availability of affordable child care, the opportunity for flexible working hours and advances in technology to keep us connected to the office mean that more women are advancing further in their career, especially in Hong Kong.”

 

The survey also found that women’s representation in Hong Kong management teams (31%) is higher than the global average (27%).

 

Ms. Anand added: “It is encouraging to see that despite the challenges, women in Hong Kong are able to rise up the ranks into senior positions. This is especially significant in sectors such as finance, accounting, and financial services in Hong Kong, which tends to be male dominated.”

 

To what extent do you agree with the following reasons why women are not advancing their careers on par with their male counterparts?

 

 

Agree

Neither agree nor disagree

Disagree

Societal perceptions of women's role

43%

35%

24%

Lack of work-life balance / ability to manage parental duties

41%

29%

30%

Over-sensitive / over-emotional in the workplace

37%

27%

37%

Desire for women to be liked by their peers

35%

27%

39%

 

Not volunteering for projects / lack of confidence

31%

41%

28%

Lack of promotional opportunities for women

29%

45%

26%

 

Lack of ambition

24%

41%

35%

Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.

- Ends -

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