Hong Kong SAR surpasses China to report highest percentage of female managers in Asia

Hong Kong SAR has surpassed China to report the highest percentage of female managers across Asia, finds the latest Asia Salary Guide report by leading recruitment experts Hays.

This year marks the 13th edition of the annual Hays Asia Salary Guide, which remains a definitive snapshot of salaries for positions across industries in Asia. The salary and hiring insights, including a thorough market overview of business outlooks, salary policies and recruitment trends, are based on survey responses from close to 6000 working professionals located in the five Hays operating markets in Asia; namely China, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.

Promising strides towards gender equality

Results of the survey showed an increase in the percentage of female managers in Hong Kong from last year’s 33 per cent to 39 per cent this year. The increased score surpassed China’s 36 per cent, making it the highest percentage of female managers across Asia.

While this is a heartening increase, there still remains room for improvement in the area. Only 46 per cent of employers in Hong Kong said they had formal diversity policies and practices in place, the lowest such percentage in Asia. Additionally, only 56 per cent said these policies and practices were well or fairly well adhered to. While this is a promising increase from last year’s 49 per cent, it still remains the lowest percentage in Asia after China (55 per cent).

Similar findings were revealed in the 2019/2020 Hays Asia Diversity & Inclusion report, where overall statistics pointed to a general sentiment of gender equality in Hong Kong when compared to the rest of Asia. The report’s survey revealed that only six per cent of respondents cited gender as a reason for diminished chances of being selected for a job – the lowest such response in Asia. 48 per cent of local respondents also said they had never felt excluded from their current places of work due to diversity reasons, above the Asia average of 40 per cent. In fact, of those that said that they had, 61 per cent reported that it had not occurred during the previous year, the highest number in Asia to say so.

Percentage of foreign workers remains high

Despite the current market conditions in Hong Kong, demand for foreign talent remains strong and similar to last year. Results of the survey showed that foreign employees (non-permanent resident or citizen) still make up 18 per cent of the city’s workforce, a number that remains unchanged from last year and is the highest such percentage in Asia after Singapore (28 per cent). Some of the areas expected to see strong demand for foreign talent include data analytics, digital transformation and virtual banking

However, ongoing reports of skill shortages and mismatches in Hong Kong may also be driving more domestic hiring. 50 per cent of employers said they would consider employing or sponsoring a qualified overseas/expatriate candidate in skill short areas, a drop from 56 per cent who said so last year. This leaves the other half of the employer population in preference of hiring more domestic candidates.

Jack Leung, Regional Director for Hays Hong Kong commented, ‘Despite ongoing social challenges, Hong Kong has made significant strides towards improving diversity in the workplace. Results of both our Asia Salary Guide and Asia Diversity & Inclusion Report show promising strides in terms of percentages, actions and sentiments towards gender equality. Recent reports show that the rate of women’s labour force participation in Hong Kong stands at just 50.8 per cent. Considering the challenging year ahead for global economies, having more women in the workforce and in managerial positions could provide a much-needed productivity boost for both Hong Kong and the region.

To download your copy of the 2020 Hays Asia Salary Guide, please click here.

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Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

Hays is located in Hong Kong at 6604-06, 66/F, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong.

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About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2019 the Group employed 11,600 staff operating from 266 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2019:

– the Group reported net fees of £1,129.7 billion and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £248.8 million;

– the Group placed around 81,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 254,000 people into temporary assignments;

– 18% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 27% in Germany, 23% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 32% in Rest of World (RoW);

– the temporary placement business represented 57% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 43% of net fees;

– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA