Women managers in Asia.
Sexism is rife in Asia. That creates an opportunity for non-chauvinist firms.
IN THE West, women typically make up 10-20% of upper management and company boards. They are relatively lucky. A report from McKinsey, a consultancy, shows that Asian women lag far behind.
There are exceptions. In Australia women's share of board and executive-committee jobs is roughly on a par with that in America and parts of Europe. Singapore too has a large number of women in senior management (see chart). But elsewhere the picture is mostly dire, and not necessarily because the countries concerned are poor. In Japan and South Korea, both rich, women are about as likely to sit on boards as men are to serve tea.
One reason why so few women in Asia get plum jobs is that in most countries far fewer of them are in the workforce than in the West, where their labour-force participation rate is usually around 60-70%. In India only about one woman in three has a formal job, though millions sweat on farms and in family businesses. Education is unequal, too. In 2009-10 only 10-15% of students entering the elite Indian Institutes of Management were female. But even in Asian countries where plenty of women leap from college onto the corporate ladder, they do not climb as high as men.
The most common reasons given are much the same as in Europe: the double burden of work and domestic responsibilities; the requirement in many senior jobs to be always available and free to travel; women's reluctance to blow their own trumpet; and the scarcity of female role models. In Asia, an additional hurdle is the lack of public services to support families, such as child care.
So is it just a question of waiting until Asia catches up with the West? The McKinsey report's authors, Claudia Süssmuth-Dyckerhoff, Jin Wang and Josephine Chen, think it is not as simple as that. Having studied 744 large companies and quizzed 1,500 executives in ten Asian countries, they conclude that, unlike their Western counterparts, Asian senior managers are not very interested in the subject. Some 70% of them did not see "gender diversity" as a strategic priority.
所以，这个问题只是：等待亚洲赶上西方的脚步吗？麦肯锡报告的作者，Claudia Süssmuth-Dyckerhoff，王进（音译）和乔瑟夫?陈（Josephine Chen），认为问题不是那样简单。在研究了774家大公司和问卷调查了1500位来自十个国家的高管，他们总结出，不像西方的同僚，亚洲的高级经理人们对这个话题兵不感兴趣。他们中大约70%不认为"性别多样性"是一项当务之急。
The McKinsey authors think such managers are misguided. They point to companies in Asia that have done well out of recruiting lots of women, such as Shiseido, a Japanese cosmetics company (whose customers are mainly female), and Cisco, an American technology firm which snaps up Asian female talent. It is one of several Western firms that benefit from Asian sexism, in that it is easier to recruit good women when their compatriots ignore them.
A study in 2011 by Heidrick & Struggles, a headhunter, found that a third of Asian executives were worried about being able to attract and retain the staff they needed in the next two years. Women could help fill the gap.
一份2011年来自Heidrick & Struggles人才猎头公司的研究发现有三分之一的亚洲公司高管担心能否在未来两年内吸引和维持所需的员工数量。女性有助于填补这个空当。
In a book published last year, "Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets", Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Ripa Rashid found that, despite cultural constraints, women in developing countries were increasingly well qualified. Judging by what they told pollsters, they were also more ambitious than Western women, and more loyal to their employers than men.
一本去年出版的书，《在新兴市场中赢得人才战争》（"Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets"）之中，Sylvia Ann Hewlett 和 Ripa Rashid发现，尽管有文化限制，发展中国家中具有学历、能胜任的女性们越来越多了。由她们对调查者所言来判断，她们比西方女性更有抱负，也比男性更忠诚于老板。
Citing studies suggesting that firms with more women at the top perform better, the McKinsey report urges Asian companies to do more to harness female talent. It will be a hard sell, but according to Ms Wang, "Five to ten years might do it."