Crucial Actions Required to Achieve Gender Parity in Asia

A multi-year initiative focused on driving gender equality within organisations acrossAsia, NINEby9 has unveiled its first annual report, “Gender Parity in Asia: the Moment of Truth.”

Launched in Singapore in 2021 as “year zero” in major Asian markets, NINEby9 is grounded in a unique, robust researchstudy to get to the root of gender equality issues in Asia. In collaboration with award-winning global research firm Kadence International with support from Yale-NUS and Dynata, NINEby9 conducted its inaugural survey between July and August in 2021 to 3,000 working women from eight markets in 6 geographies of China (Shanghai and Shenzhen), Hong Kong, India (Mumbai and Bengaluru), Indonesia, Japan and Singapore.

The survey identified drivers of gender parity by demographic segments – age, industry and cultural nuances, with keyfindings for Singapore including:

  • 81% of working women in Singapore believe they have equal opportunities to get promoted and 71% believe they receive equal salary as men
  • Half the women we surveyed in Singapore believed they had to “hide who they are to be accepted by men at work”
  • Women in Singapore are motivated by money, more than other surveyed Asian markets…68% reported the primary motivation for work is remuneration

While our NINEby9 survey indicated that 80% of women in Asia believe they have gender parity, the truth is that womenin Asia are far from equality. A 2020 CWDI report, showed that women only hold 20% of management positions in Asia and only ~15.1% of board positions in Asia Pacific. However we see these gaps asopportunities to impact change through NINEby9.”

– Christine Fellowes, Co-Founder

Three key stakeholders emerged as drivers of real change in the NINEby9 survey, which are ranked below by importance, based on the respondents:

  1. Managers standing up for the women who work for them by:
    • Reinforcing a culture of equality, demonstrating that the company policies are not just on paper, that all members of the team are truly equal.
    • Recognising contribution, enhancing the confidence of those that have competence in their team through regular feedback that reinforces their effort and impact.
    • Ensuring work-life balance, recognising that women may traditionally carry a heavier caregiver load andmay struggle to speak up because they do not want to be treated differently or have negative consequences.
  1. Organisations who make it possible for women to feel equal by:
    • Demonstrating visible proof, showing all employees that they have equal opportunity for growth.
    • Creating specific policies to support and champion women, recognising that women may have physical needs that are different and finding ways to support these needs so women feel comfortable in the workplace.
    • Encouraging allies to demonstrate that gender parity matters to them, that they recognise the world is unequal and that the company will be better with equality.
  1. Women who speak up and take action by:
    • Creating personal beliefs that gender does not dictate the industries women can work in or chances to succeed in these industries.
    • Seeking role models within and outside their organisation.
    • Raising important topics related to promotions, work-life balance, health needs, sexism in the workplace to ensure people know the extent to which these challenges exist.

“The Asian Century is just beginning, and now is the time to kick start the gender parity reset in Asia,“  says NINEby9 Co-Founder April Swando Hu. “Asia remains the fastest growing region globally; Nineby9’s research shows that while women are still behind the curve in terms of gender parity, they have incredibly strong aspirations to grow in their career. With the right support from their managers, organisations and peers, we know that they can realise their full potential while driving gender parity for working women in Asia.”

For more information on how you can help to drive gender parity in your workplace, please visit

Images: Envato

Leave a Comment