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As an industry that advocates diversity at the workplace, it is perhaps ironic that the HR function in itself predominantly female.
According to a survey by Elliott Scott, the HR industry in APAC only consists of 2.5% of men in entry-level positions.
Polling hundreds of HR professionals across Singapore, Hong Kong and China, it found that the percentage of men in the function increases to 6.3% in mid-level positions, 19% in senior level positions and to 31.6% when it comes to HR heads.
“These results demonstrate that HR in APAC still has a long way to go in practising what it preaches,” the report stated.
To make things worse, the survey found early two-thirds of organisations lack a diversity and inclusion strategy specifically within the HR function.
This was also reflected in the division’s preference to promote HR professionals based on their race and ethnicity.
The survey found that expats are 37% more likely to hold a senior position compared to locals.
However, when coming to the entry-level positions, that number drops to only 9%.
“How HR functions are tackling diversity and inclusion is predominately through diversity hiring
programmes, family friendly policies and flexible working hours. However this may not be enough
to make an impact, as 69% of respondents believe that diversity and inclusion is an ongoing
challenge,” the survey stated.
With such skewed statistics within the HR function, it was perhaps not surprising to find that 25% of companies lacked an HR seat at their executive table.
Additionally, nearly two-thirds of respondents stated their corporate role models belong not from within the HR function, but from outside it.
“The HR profession in Asia should take time to reflect on its own diversity and inclusion strategy
and practices, alongside reviewing data to really understand the current make-up of the team,” the report said.