Hong Kong HR Directors Believe Society's Perceptions Impact Women's Career Advancement

Society’s perception of women’s role and the lack of work-life balance are holding women back from advancing in their career as compared to men, according to a Hong Kong survey conducted by recruitment specialist Robert Half.


In the survey, HR directors were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with a list of reasons why female employees were not climbing the career ladder as fast as their male counterparts.


At the top of the list were societal perceptions of women’s role, with 43% of respondents agreeing that this was one of the reasons why women were not advancing in their career.


When compared, the responses from men and women varied and it became more apparent as 58% of female HR directors said that societal stigma was holding women back.


Other reasons why females may not be progressing as fast in their careers as their male counterparts include lack of work life balance (41%), being over-emotional in the workplace (37%), and the desire for women to be liked by their peers (35%).


“It is a concern but not entirely surprising to see that many working women in Hong Kong are battling against pre-conceived notions that their place is in the home and that they need to take career breaks for motherhood," says Pallavi Anand, Director of Robert Half in Hong Kong.


“This is however, beginning to change. The availability of affordable childcare, the opportunity for flexible working hours and advances in technology to keep us connected to the office mean that more women are advancing further in their career, especially in Hong Kong.”


The survey also found that women’s representation in Hong Kong management teams (31%) is higher than the global average (27%).


Anand added: “It is encouraging to see that despite the challenges, women in Hong Kong are able to rise up the ranks into senior positions. This is especially significant in sectors such as finance, accounting, and financial services in Hong Kong, which tends to be male dominated.”


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