ManpowerGroup Outlines How Asian Companies Can Increase the Number of Women in Leading Roles for Eco
ManpowerGroup Outlines How Asian Companies Can Increase the Number of Women in Leading Roles for Economic Advantage Innovative Workforce Solutions Provider Says Gender Parity is Key to Organizations Maintaining Growth in the Region
ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions and a strategic partner of the World Economic Forum, has urged Asian businesses to implement clearly-defined strategies for developing and mentoring women leaders in order to drive economic growth in the region.
David Arkless, ManpowerGroup President of Corporate and Government Affairs, participated in a panel at the World Economic Forum on East Asia, titled "Driving Asian Growth: Women at the Wheel." The panel addressed the role of Asian women in driving development in areas that are key for economic growth such as education, entrepreneurship, and productivity and how certain best practices from Asia relating to the economic and political participation of women can provide a model for gender parity efforts elsewhere around the world.
"Women leaders in Asia face unique challenges which must be overcome in order to fully unleash the human potential of this underleveraged talent pool," said Arkless. "Growing the pipeline of women in leadership roles is critical as an engine of economic growth in a region where so many employers continue to be frustrated by the lack of qualified talent they need to meet fast-rising demand for products and services. This talent mismatch will be exacerbated in future by shifting demographic trends."
In order for women to break the "Glass Ceiling" and promote gender inclusiveness at the highest level, ManpowerGroup recommends that companies rethink prohibitive working models and people practices and embrace greater flexibility so that outstanding women performers are not forced to choose between professional success and personal fulfilment. The traditional office-based work week is impractical for many women who bear primary responsibility for childcare and other family commitments.
Retaining women in the workforce is vital to their advancement and policies should be put in place to allow women to develop professionally while balancing work and home duties so that more emphasis is placed on results and knowledge gained rather than time spent in the office, allowing high-performing women to achieve success at a pace that works for them. ManpowerGroup recommends Asian businesses take steps now to strengthen the foundation of women in their workforce as such moves will not bear fruit immediately, and qualified talent will grow more elusive in the meantime.
Arkless referenced ManpowerGroup's talent development initiatives that have proven effective in grooming women leaders in Asia. Cross-cultural "dipping" of managers and reverse expatriation have been successful, that is placing managers of emerging market operations in developed markets in order to help them learn best practices and skills from other parts of the world to take back to their local operations and adopt as appropriate.
In addition, ManpowerGroup's women executives have played a significant role in the company's success, including Francoise Gri, President of Southern Europe and head of France, the company's largest single market. Gri last week led ManpowerGroup's delegation to the World Economic Forum on Europe, has been named to Fortune magazine's list of the Global 50 Most Powerful Women in International Business for seven consecutive years and is passionate about changing the numbers at the top so more women reach positions of power.
"Asian companies need to realize that it is in their economic interests to get more women into the C-Suite and the boardroom," added Arkless. "With the supply of talent struggling to keep up with demand in the region, presenting greater opportunities to 50 percent of the potential talent pool is clearly imperative in order to win the changing world of work."
Other speakers on the panel included: Veronica Colondam, CEO of Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa Foundation Cindy Ko, Vice-President of International Expansion, Endeavor Christopher Ng, Regional Secretary, Asia and Pacific, UNI Global Union Sandra Wu Wen-Hsiu, President and CEO of Kokusai Kogyo Holdings Perry Yeatman, Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs of Kraft Foods and Ellana Lee, Managing Editor of Asia Pacific, CNN International.
ManpowerGroup has been a proud strategic partner of the World Economic Forum (WEF) since 2004, and is the only company in the industry to have a strategic partnership with WEF. In January, at the 2011 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, ManpowerGroup announced the world has entered the Human Age, where talent has replaced capital as the key competitive differentiator. ManpowerGroup actively participates in Forum events, industry programs and communities, and is a member of the Women Leaders and Gender Parity program, promoting women's leadership and closing gender gaps. ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jeff Joerres served as co-chair for the Forum's 2010 Europe Summit in Brussels. ManpowerGroup President of Corporate and Government Affairs David Arkless is Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Skills and Talent Mobility. For more information about ManpowerGroup's partnership with the World Economic Forum, visit: http://manpowergroup.com/press/wef2011.cfm