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26 Asian firms that excel in gender equality


Bloomberg has released its latest 2019 Gender-Equality Index (GEI), with 230 companies headquartered in 36 countries and regions across 10 sectors making the list.

Of the 230 companies, about 26 were from Asian countries: Singapore; Malaysia; Hong Kong; India; Taiwan; China; South Korea; Thailand; and Japan, listed in alphabetical order by country below:

Singapore City Developments Limited DBS Group Holdings Singtel UOB Group

Malaysia Maybank

Hong Kong AIA Group First Pacific Company Lenovo

Japan Dai Nippon Printing Daiwa House Industry Daiwa Securities Group Kao Corporation Mizuho Financial Group MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Nidec Corporation NTT Docomo Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Tokyo Electron

China and Taiwan AU Optronics (Taiwan) BYD Company (China) Yum China Holdings (China)

India, South Korea and Thailand Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (India) Kasikornbank (Thailand) KB Financial Group (South Korea) Shinhan Financial Group (South Korea)

A total of seven million women have been employed around the world by these companies, with the following statistics also highlighted:

More women are making it to the c-suite and boardroom

  • According to the Index, there was a 40% increase in women holding executive level positions from 2014-2017.
  • In the same period, there was also twice the global average of women in the boardroom.

Companies are taking action to close the gender gap

  • Women made up 43% of those promoted in 2017, 34% of companies are willing to aid women in returning to the workforce after a period, and 38% of revenue-producing roles are held by women.

In his letter about the 2019 GEI, CEO Michael R Bloomberg said: "Promoting gender equality in the workplace is not just the right thing to do. It is also smart business."

View the full infographic below


In another nod towards gender equality at the workplace, Singapore’s Diversity Action Committee will widen its scope to include organisations in the people and public sectors. It will be renamed the Council for Board Diversity (CBD) and has appointed President Halimah Yacob as Patron. Chaired by two Co-Chairpersons: Loh Boon Chye, CEO of SGX and Mildred Tan, Chairman of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, the council comprises 20 members with a diverse and strong slate of management and board expertise across different sectors. The council will serve for a two-year term from January 2019.

On the importance of gender equality on boards, President Halimah said: “Increasing women on boards should be a priority for organisations as this introduces fresh perspectives and enhances corporate governance. Singapore, being a global financial and business hub, is natural ground for having a big pool of highly capable board-ready women.” Noting that the Diversity Action Committee has helped double women's membership of corporate boards on the top 100 primary-listed companies on the Singapore Exchange, the president said: "It is only timely to include organisations in the people and public sectors in the next phase of development."

Lead image / 123RF Infographic / Bloomberg

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