The changing face of women managers in Asia: opportunities and challenges

Yukongdi, Vimolwan and Rowley, Chris (2009) The changing face of women managers in Asia: opportunities and challenges. In: The changing face of women managers in Asia. Working in Asia. Taylor & Francis (Routledge), Oxon, United Kingdom, pp. 1-18. ISBN 0-415-43767-9


[Introduction]: During the past decade Asia has experienced intense economic growth leading to a significant increase in demand for managers and
professionals. In Asia, and particularly in East and South East Asia, women's participation rates in the labour force are ranked among the highest in the world (see ILO, 2007). Higher educational levels and falling fertility rates have contributed to women's increasing participation in the labour force. As women become more educated and qualified for managerial positions, the number of Asian women
managers and executives is predicted to rise over the next decade. However, although several research studies pertaining to women in management were conducted during the 1990s, given the rapid changes in Asian workplaces over the past decade it may well be that much of what we know is outdated, irrelevant and based mainly
on studies conducted in developed countries (Omar and Davidson, 2001). This book examines the opportunities and challenges for women managers in the Asian cultural context and presents an update on their progress in management.

The influence of Asian cultures and religious traditions has been used to explain women's under-utilisation and under-representation in management (see Adler, 1993-1994; Omar and Davidson, 2001). One aim of this book is to examine such influences on organisational and
management practices, and how these affect women in management in Asian economies. Some elements of management practices are universal whereas others, such as human resource (HR) practices, are more unique to a given context. Women have increasing opportunities
and an increasing number of women have attained managerial
positions. However, a review of women in management (Omar and Davidson, 2001) also found differences in experiences based on locality, and suggested that women in Asia might encounter greater challenges because of the culture and traditions of Asian societies. The Asian economies examined in this book have undergone rapid
economic transfonnation. Much of what we know about women
managers today is drawn from studies in developed countries: less is known of women in Asia and the specific barriers faced by women in Asian economies. In addition, the 'voice' of women managers remains to be heard, especially of those in Confucian and patriarchal
societies such as many of those in Asia. In sum, there is a tension between more universal, 'best practice' -based, often Western management approaches and the more contingent, culturally nuanced practices that apply to and impact on women managers. This will emerge from the comparison across economies offered here.

This chapter discusses the gender-organisation-system perspective, which is the theoretical framework adopted to explain the underrepresentation and under-utilisation of women in management. This is followed by an overview of women in the labour market, their educational levels and the proportion of women in managerial and professional positions. The chapter examines the factors that contribute
to occupational gender segregation, earnings gaps between men and women, issues related to the balancing offamily and work life and the barriers to women's career advancement. The final sections discuss the influence of national culture, focusing particularly on
Asian societies, and present an overview of the economies featured in this book.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 5858
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to paper due to publisher copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Management and Marketing
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2010 04:49
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2016 02:41
Uncontrolled Keywords: women; managers; management; Asia; Asian; work
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150310 Organisation and Management Theory
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150305 Human Resources Management
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910402 Management

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only