The proportion of women sitting on corporate boards and executive committees in Asian companies is strikingly low compared with Europe and the United States, even though women remain under-represented in those regions too.
Despite the business case for recruiting and developing more women, 70 percent of the executives we surveyed in Asia said greater gender diversity was not a strategic priority for their companies – that is, it was not among their top ten priorities. In Europe, the figure was 47 percent according to the 2012 McKinsey Women Matter Report.
Survey participants were asked to rank the difficulties women face in moving into senior roles. By far the greatest was the double burden of many working women in Asia: holding down a job while looking after their families – particularly in cultures in which women are expected to take sole responsibility for family and household duties