As we’re closing in on the year 2020, gender equality still remains to be a topic of discussion. While gender parity issues are still prevalent in the workplace, globally, we’re seeing improvements on the matter.
This year, Dell published its 2019 Women Entrepreneur Cities Index. The index is designed to measure a city’s ability to attract and support high-potential women entrepreneurs. Top two criteria for the 50 ranked cities are that they need to be:
- Geographically representative of the global diversity
- Markets that are already thriving with commercial entrepreneurship
Among APAC, Sydney and Melbourne are ranked the best for women in the workplace. These are followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taipei.
Of the 5 core pillars, APAC saw the most improvement is in talent and capital, both of which contributes to the operating environment of the cities. Following talent and capital, APAC also improved greatly in the area of technology, beating out other regions.
While not ranked in top ten cities, Hong Kong and Singapore shows great potential in the realm of technology, ranking 5th and 6th place respectively among all other cities, illustrating their strength in this area and their enabling work environment.
Measuring the relative strengths and weaknesses of each city, many APAC cities have moved down in the Women Entrepreneur Cities Index this year including Singapore and Hong Kong. This however, is not necessarily an indication that they have done poorly, like in the case of Singapore, but more reflective of the tight competition in the race to the top.
The Path to Creating a More Gender Equal Workplace
Overall, we are seeing an improvement for women in business. Of the 50 cities, 37 have increased the percentage of women on board, meaning that businesses are opening up to a more gender diverse leadership. 10 cities, including Shanghai have also showed improvement in policy, creating "equal remuneration for work of equal value".
On top of that, we’re also seeing more cities invest in technology and talent, with more women being supported with venture capital funds in the area of innovation.
It’s time we created a more diverse workplace. Despite the improvement across cities, the work on addressing gender parity issues is still far from complete. As business leaders and movers of the competitive Asia Pacific market, it’s important that we do not overlook the hidden barriers to achieving a successful business. These barriers include the traditional gender biases that are preventing us from finding the best talent and progressing further.
“When more women work, economies grow. Technology is helping to drive this progress as a gender-neutral enabler, and helps create a level playing field. Whilst all cities in the Index have improved, the crucial factor is the consistency of this improvement across the different factors that impact women entrepreneurs’ success.”
Amit Midha, president of Asia Pacific & Japan, Global Digital Cities at Dell Technologies.
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