[vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The Age of Feminism—Have We Achieved Workplace Equality?

Compared to the time of our mothers, gender inequality today has indeed reduced by a large extent. There are more and more successful career women all over the world, and women in positions of leadership have reached double digit growth.

When the average income of men are stagnating or even reducing, women’s income is increasing—according to a research in the US, women who occupy the top 1% of income level has increased from 2% in 1908 to 14% in 2004. That is a 700% growth over 25 years. Women also make up one-sixth of the top 1% taxpayers.

In the 21st century, women entrepreneurs and CEOs are also increasing in number. Chinese millionaire Zhang Yin, American hostess Oprah, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, author of Harry Potter J.K Rowling, ex E-Bay director Meg Whitman etc are just a few examples.

Looking at these trends, do you feel that women have finally achieved equality in the workplace?

I do not think so.

The information I provided is only the improvements we have compared to the past. We still have a long way to go: according to Fortune, women directors occupy only 3% of the top 500 corporations in America. In top corporations around the world, women CEOs make up less than 15% of the total number.

Catalyst once conducted a research on renowned MBA graduates across the world. Among these graduates, women consistently fall behind men in all stages of their career. The reports that claim that women are having it better in the workplace are often flawed.

In Malaysia, the situation is even worse.

According to a report called the Malaysia Economic Monitor published by the World Bank, women occupy 46% of the total workforce, as opposed to 70% in Singapore, 69.9% in Thailand and 53% in Indonesia. While there are 600,000 men occupying high level positions, only 200,000 women occupy similar ranks.

As a woman in a historically male-dominated field, I have overcome many judgements and discrimination. I fully understand the difficulties of being a career woman.

The biggest problem women face in the workplace is the discrimination against pregnancy and motherhood. As women need to take leave from work due to pregnancy and birth-giving, they often have lesser pay, lesser mobility and may even lose their job. Once the child is born, they are expected to care for their children and continue to thrive in the workplace, adding huge pressure on them. If they quit their job to care for their children, it is often difficult to join the workforce again.

In comparison, men suffer much less pressure in child-rearing, thus are usually able to work longer hours, be more flexible in re-locations or travelling for work.

Moreover, women managers face disapproval, and are rarely held to the same expectations as men are. Common models of promotion and assessment are often designed by men for men. Many managers also have the preconceived notion that women are indecisive and incompatible with workplace competitiveness. Far too often we assume women would always give up their career progress for family.

As a corporate leader, I have always believed in gender equality. Women can be just as capable as men, and thus I have promote fair wage, fair promotion and transparency in the company. I am also working hard to make the workplace friendly to both genders. My conviction is that the morale and efficiency of a company is at its best when it treats its people fairly.

As a career woman, I understand that many women worry about their children. For that reason, I am also trying to provide childcare facility in the company so that women can work with as little distraction as possible. Nevertheless, these efforts cannot be solely on the shoulders of corporations. The government plays an important role in creating policies that benefit women and children. In Europe, for example, governments give out generous subsidies for childcare. In Japan, there are rewards for companies that provide childcare services or flexible work hours.

Ultimately, discrimination against women in the work place boils down to the larger scale of sexism in society as a whole. To fully achieve workplace gender equality, we have to achieve gender equality in the society first.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]女力年代来临 = 职场性别完全平等?

女力年代来临,性别差距相比起二十年前我们的母辈确实是缩小了许多,全球愈来愈多的专业女性精英崛起,女性高阶主管在某些国家更呈现两位数的成长。

当男性的平均收入趋于平静,甚至下滑的同时, 女性的平均收入却正在成长,根据美国的一个雇员研究分析,收入为前1%的美国人中,女性占的百分比自1980年的2%左右,上升至2004年的近14%,也就是在25年间变成了7倍。在英国前1%的缴税用户中,有约六分之一为女性。

而在21世纪,白手兴家或是担任高级主管的女性也愈来愈多,例如我们熟悉的中国女富豪张茵、美国知名主持人欧普拉、百事公司(PepsiCo)全球执行长卢英德(Indra Nooyi)、《哈利波特》系列作家J.K.Rowling、e-bay前执行长梅格.惠特曼(Meg Whitman)等。

单单看这些数据,你是否认为女性在职场上障碍愈来愈少,终于能冲破性别不平别,在职场上勇攀高峰了吗?

我不认为如此。

刚刚我所写的数据,仅是女性相较于过去投入职场、平均收入有所提升的数据而已,而事实上根据美国《财星》杂志(Fortune)的研究数据显示,美国五百大企业中,女性执行长只占3%,在全球顶尖企业中,女性高阶主管好不到15%。

美国触媒(Catalyst)曾针对全球知名企业硕士毕业生(MBA)进行的一项研究显示,在这群毕业生中,女性从第一份毕业工作开始,职场生涯的每个阶段都落后在男性的后面,那些声称女性在升迁、薪酬和工作满意度已有进展的报告,某种程度上都存有错误。

而马来西亚的情况更不乐观。

根据世界银行曾发布一份《马来西亚经济观察》(Malaysia Economic Monitor)的研究指出,大马女性在人力市场只占有46%,与其他亚洲国家,如新加坡的70%、泰国的69.9%、印尼的53%相比,明显略低,而企业中男性担任高阶主管的人数高达60万,但女性也只有20万。

作为一位在男性构建的职场里力争上游的职业女性,我也是一步一脚印的走过来,也曾经历过许多不一样的眼光与评价,所以对女性在职场上的阻碍有着深刻的了解。

女性在职场上最大的阻碍是怀孕歧视,因为女性必须在怀孕后请产假和育婴假,产后复职,也担心无法恢复原职、影响升迁,甚至工作不报;孩子出生后,必须担任其主要的照顾责任,家庭工作两头烧;若辞职当期家庭主妇,孩子长大后,中年妇女二度就业不易等等因素。

而男性在承担育儿方面压力的不似女性般压力,甚至没有家庭的后顾之忧(女性通常为孩子照料者),以致他们能长时间工作、调任或是密集出差。

除了这些原因,大部分的女主管都有表现不被认同的经验,也没有被以和男性相同的标准来升职。有些企业的升迁和绩效、潜能评量标准多半是以男性领导者模式,如野心、竞争力和冒险性来衡量。而且,大对数的企业主管也有先入为主的想法,认为女性大多数是优柔寡断,不适合职场竞争、女性都会为了成家离职或女性欠缺担任高阶主管的雄心大志。

作为一位女性企业领导人,我向来都认为男女皆平等,女性也可以拥有与男性一样的魄力,也向来提倡升迁、薪资结构以及津贴标准透明化与公平的制度,我也极力在集团内建立两性平权的观念和环境,我认为不因性别而有所歧视的企业作风才能保持稳定的人事、高昂的工作士气和良好的效率。

作为一位职业妇女,我当然明白女性在工作之余牵挂孩子的心情,所以我与团队也在思考推动企业托育计划,也就是在企业内开办小型的托儿中心,解决女性员工在工作与托育方面的困扰。当然,托育计划不是一项单靠企业就能推动的方案,毕竟企业没办法长期支援员工养儿育女的生产成本,而政府所扮演的角色就非常重要。例如政府可以参考北欧政府给予养儿育女社会化的政策与措施,包括育儿津贴、育婴津贴以及儿童照顾等的若干措施或是惨开日本的法案,以奖励补贴的方式,鼓励企业提供托育兒服務及彈性工作时间。

当然,我不得不承认,职场的性别不平等除了来自以上的原因之外,问题的根源是社会对男女不平等认知而形成的,要解决职场性别不平等,首先就必须先解决男女不平等这件事。

资料参考:
http://www.cna.com.tw/news/newsworld/201302270001-1.aspx

http://www.managertoday.com.tw/articles/view/666

http://www.businessweekly.com.tw/KWebArticle.aspx?ID=58492&pnumber=4

http://www.cw.com.tw/masterChannel.action?idMasterChannel=10

http://www.nanyang.com/node/543777[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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