Accompanying International Women’s Day, which took place on 8 March, MasterCard released its latest Index into Women’s Advancement.
The report looks into female employment and equality across the Asia-Pacific region, and discovered some interesting facts – some good and some showing room for improvement.
MasterCard used an index score to judge countries and industries on their level of female equality, using 100 as a sign of perfect balance.
Overall, Australia ranked second in the Index, with a score of 76. This shows that men still outweigh women as a whole in terms of advancement, though the country is only beaten in terms of equality by New Zealand (77) in the Asia-Pacific region.
The research also looked into employment parity, in which Australia ranked third in the Asia Pacific. A score of 90.8 puts it behind second-place China (91.2) and leaders New Zealand (91.3).
Women are certainly being employed more readily for their attributes, and it’s these that are seeing them enter every workforce, from mining to medicine.
In fact, contrary to popular opinion, it is in blue-collar roles, such as oil and gas industry jobs, where employers are able to see the real value of gender balance. For example, women are generally easier on machinery, leading to less expense to the employer on repairs.
However, some stereotypes remain and female employment is outweighed in a few areas. For example, the MasterCard study found that women were largely employed in tertiary education jobs or studying to enter the workforce, with an index score of 135.3 – meaning they outweigh men by some margin.
True parity will aim to address these problems, too. A balanced workforce will allow for more diversity, which employers now understand the benefit of. Diversity leads to a range of problem solving and the ability to use male/female attributes to their greatest effect.
To achieve this, a more measured and effective recruitment process can help to bridge the gender divide, and with a little work, Australia could see itself topping this index in 2016.