Gender Diversity in the Hong Kong Financial Services Sector - Moving from conversation to action

PwC and The Women's Foundation released a report detailing the current state of gender diversity in the Financial Services sector in Hong Kong, in partnership with an informal group of women chief executives from the FS industry in Hong Kong.

Highlights of the findings include:

  • Lack of career progression plays a signficant role in women's decisions to leave a company: 73% of the surveyed organisations said "Lack of career progression" and other career opportunities are the top reasons why women leave their organisations; only 21% of organisations listed "Lack of childcare options" or "cultural pressure to stay at home" among the top reasons why women leave their organisation
  • Senior women perceive a pay gap disparity: Despite corporate views of pay equality, 73% of senior female employees felt that senior women do not earn as much as senior men whereas only 23% of senior men agreed with that statement.
  • Leadership buy-in drives greater impact for gender parity: While diversity recruitment measures are necessary to increase female representation in senior positions, greater impact can be achieved through top-down cultural changes.

Key takeaways that organisations may consider, in support of the survey’s findings include:

  • Formal sponsorship programmes are critical for women's career advancement: In addition to clearly defined career paths, sponsorship programmes for women are necessary to increase their representation at senior levels.
  • Flexible working policies will help balance the gender gap: Policies around gender-neutral flexible working arrangements should be prioritised to ensure that working arrangements can enable and attract a broader workforce to stay within the organisation.
  • Policy is the enabler; culture and tone from leadership is the driver: Leading by example, especially from senior leadership, is the most effective way to normalise a culture of inclusion and empowerment. This drives the positive behavioural changes necessary for committed action and results.