Women play a crucial role to help shape the region’s economy and give a social-economic impact. A study said that women leaders are more inclusive and empathetic, but the data shows that the role of senior managers in most companies is still dominated by men.
According to the UN Women’s report, the percentage of women in managerial positions in ASEAN countries rose by only 2% for the last 20 years. Meanwhile, Indonesia stands in the 6th position out of 10 countries for the same categories. McKinsey & Company report stated that in the United States, only one in four senior leaders is a woman.
This show that the involvement of women leadership in the workplace has little growth across the countries. Then, how is women’s participation in the industry?
Women’s Participation in The Industries
According to Catalyst, male-dominated industries classify as fields of occupations that consist only of 25% women or less. This includes infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, technology, and more. Male-dominated industries and occupations are labeled to have dangerous and unfavorable environments for women to handle. By 2020 in the United States there are only 6.5% of women worked full-time in these industries.
World Economic Forum’s recent report on the gender gap explains that in 2022, there are three industries to have levels near gender parity in leadership, such as Non-Governmental and Membership Organizations, Education, Personal Services and Well-being. Meanwhile, the industries to have more men in leadership positions are Technology, Agriculture, Energy, Supply Chain, Transportation, Manufacturing, and Infrastructure.
Table 1: Women in leadership roles by industry (%) in 2022
Source: Global Gender Gap Report, World Economic Forum (2022)
Based on a quick look at the data, the proportion of women leaders in the industry remains small. Some challenges might come from stereotypes and social expectations such as doubt about women’s leadership ability.
However, this should not be a barrier to encouraging women to be able to work in all areas including in heavy industry. More involvement of women may improve better qualifications and values in the workplace. For example, as we have discussed in previous articles, evidence has shown that women tend to concern more on environmental issues and would likely take sustainable decisions. This kind of quality is needed as all sectors currently move forward to combat climate change by achieving the global goal of zero emissions.
Some studies also revealed that an equal number of men and women might perform better intelligence and productivity on the team. Furthermore, in heavy industries, women would likely be more attentive to issues related to safety and prevention in the working environment. Considering these findings, as more women are given the opportunity to take charge in various industries would likely get closer to creating a more equal work environment.
Support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity
We must believe that the number of women’s participation in the industry will continue to grow as the companies play an important role to make it happens.
A supportive working environment, especially in the heavy industry may give women more opportunities to grow their expertise and to be equal with their men colleagues. McKinsey & Company in its report discusses two broad goals to create progress toward gender equality, there are to involve more women leadership and keep the current women leaders in charge
To achieve these two goals, companies should have more specific plans such as offering more training programs and closing the gap in promotion and benefits. Afterward, the companies must evaluate the program to measure the impact and identify whether certain groups need better support.
Women should also be confident in their skills and ability. Women employees should be able to empower themselves to develop new skills and build networks both personally and professionally.
With a more diverse work culture, a company is also more aligned with ESG principles, strengthening its brand as an inclusive company that stands against discrimination. 86% of female millennials said that employer policy on diversity and workforce inclusion was important. This makes it more viable in the eyes of investors and new recruits.
In Gunung Prisma, we encourage our employees to implement diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the workplace to provide a supportive and balanced work environment. We believe these values can have a positive impact on the company as well.