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Asia: Diversity push picks up

Asiamoney’s second Women in Finance special report shows that diversity is becoming more embedded within banks, influencing how they recruit, retain and propel women up the career ladder.

Photo: iStock

Close to 70 Asian and international banks took part in Asiamoney’s 2021 survey, providing data about their regional staff numbers. Among the respondents, women account for just over 55% of the payroll on average, up from about 50% in the 2020 survey.

There has been progress at the middle-management and senior-management levels too.

Among the banks listed as Leaders for Women by Asiamoney, the proportion of women in senior management has risen from an average of 37% last year to 42% in 2021, while at the vice-president level, their representation has increased from 47% in 2020 to 49% this year.

The improvement is encouraging and shows that the banking industry can shed its long-held image of being a male-dominated sector and replace it with one that is more gender-balanced.

For this report, Asiamoney’s journalists spoke to nearly 50 female and male bankers around the region and across various markets and business lines, and found some interesting dynamics – as well as shortcomings.

Asiamoney hopes [to] show the progress being made, as well as the work that needs to be done

First, Southeast Asia is a hotspot for women in the financial services industry: participating banks in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines have workforces skewed towards women.


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