Gender Inclusion in Hiring: A Key for Competitive Edge

by | Jun 30, 2021

Gender inequality in workplaces has always been a hot topic in various industries all over APAC. Some would argue that several industries remain biased in hiring professionals. Others, on one hand, believe that a lot has changed over the years. So, where exactly is APAC in terms of gender-inclusive hiring? What can talents expect when looking for a job and getting fair treatment and compensation?  

What the Latest Numbers and Facts say…

Because gender inclusivity in workplaces is a key point of discussion in many sectors and functions, it’s not surprising to find several studies and surveys related to it. 

Here are some of the essential findings on gender inclusion in companies today:

  • 1 out of 3 women in the Asia Pacific region feels that gender is among the most significant barriers to finding opportunities [1].
  • Advancing women’s equality in APAC countries can potentially add up to $4.5 trillion to the collective GDP of the region by 2025 [2].
  • Eighty-seven percent of CEOs in the world believe that their company is gender-inclusive [3].
  • Seventy-six percent of women in Asia say that they look at the gender diversity in leadership roles before accepting a position or joining a company [3].

Meanwhile, below are some examples of how APAC member countries are moving forward with gender inclusion: 

  • APAC is on the right path when it comes to LGBTQIA+ inclusivity in workplaces (it’s slow, but it’s headed in the right direction.) [4]
  • Mie prefecture’s recently released policies on prohibiting people from outing the sexual orientation of an individual without consent [5]
  • HK government has made a landmark ruling on the case filed by a British woman seeking to attain a dependent visa for her LBTQ partner [6].
  • SG-based companies have started implementing regulations and initiatives geared towards achieving gender equality at offices. A few examples include DBS’ 2020 HacktoHire and Singtel’s efforts to increasing women working in middle management positions.

Australia is the only APAC country with a perfect 100 score in the 2019 survey on Full Gender Equality in Workplaces [7].

What are the Areas that Need Improvement? 

Indeed, many APAC countries and companies are playing catch up in Gender-Inclusive hiring. Neighboring regions like the USA and UK have started shifting their policies and enforcing regulations that help improve gender inclusion in workplaces.  

An example of these efforts which APAC countries and businesses can take inspiration from include the following:

  • France parliament’s introduction of gender quotas (minimum of 30 percent for each gender) on executive teams and leadership roles
  • Coca-Cola’s longstanding support to LGBTQ community by updating their policies and work culture and providing health insurance coverages, especially for transgender employees
  • Uber’s creation of the Global Gender Transition Guidelines for their LGBTQ employees
  • Denmark’s commitment to providing state-subsidized nurseries and kindergartens to help mothers focus on their careers
  • HubSpot providing regular training opportunities for their female employees who want to excel in the tech industry
  • Avanade’s generous investments in STEM scholarships for young women to encourage budding talents to pursue a career in IT

Gender Inclusive Recruitment Helps Companies Boost Competitive Edge

Gender inclusivity in workplaces has undoubtedly evolved a lot in recent years. From merely focusing on women’s rights and equal access to benefits, it has also brought into the light the value of creating a better work environment for trans and nonbinary individuals. 

And while no country has perfected gender inclusion in offices, we have certainly seen numerous benefits, not only for the employees but also the leaders and founders of a business. 

For starters, a report from McKinsey reveals that ethnically and gender diversed teams outperform monocultural teams by up to 35 percent. On top of that, another research from Harvard Business School shows that gender diversity in companies translates to increased productivity and revenue.

Gender-inclusive hiring also provides attractive benefits to companies, such as:

  • Deepening of client relationships, especially with LGBTQIA+ sensitive companies 
  • Attracting and retaining rising talents who can take on specialist roles, regardless of the gender
  • Improving collaborative work among employees, cross-functional teams, and company leaders
  • Opening more opportunities for innovation thanks to the additional perspectives
  • Creating a positive company branding, an important aspect that can affect performance and success these days

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Inclusivity – One of the Keys to a Better Company Performance

The numbers and countless studies have spoken – inclusivity is good in workplaces! And yes, while APAC is still slowly pacing towards a more gender-inclusive workplace, we can definitely see a glimmer hope for all women and LBTQIA+ members. 

Let’s hope for better and more diverse and accepting APAC recruitment! In light of Pride Month, we’d be thrilled to see how things will continue to change in the next few years.  

Need help finding a fintech, tech, data, or cybersecurity position in the Asia Pacific region? Datasearch Consulting can help! We have plenty of partners looking for the right talent to help them grow their businesses. We suggest checking out our job search portal to check out the latest listings.   




  1. Feon Ang. (March 2021). 1 in 3 women in APAC feel that gender is a barrier to opportunity – but organizations can help change this by leading the charge towards equality. 
  2. McKinsey & Company (April 2018). The Power of Parity: Advancing Women’s Equality in the Asia Pacific – An Executive Summary. 
  3. PwC. (2020) PwC 24th Annual Global CEO Survey: A Leadership Agenda to Take on Tomorrow. 
  4. Eijas Ariffin. (November 2018) ASEAN’s shifting attitudes towards LGBT rights. The ASEAN Post.
  5. The Japan Times. (March 2021). Mie becomes the first Japanese prefecture to ban the outing of sexual minorities. 
  6. Reuters. (September 2018). Hong Kong to allow dependent visa for same-sex couples after landmark ruling.
  7. UN Dispatch. (March 2019). Only Six Countries In the World Have Full Gender Equality in the Work Place.

    Stephanie Tham is a Senior Associate at Datasearch Consulting, a leading executive recruitment firm specialising in the Data & Technology sectors.

    You can download their FREE comprehensive guide on “The Complete Guide to Navigating your Job Search – 5 Proven Steps to Secure your Ideal Fintech or Data Role”. Alternatively, you can view the Datasearch Consulting website or contact them directly on for a more detailed discussion.

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