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#ExplainIt: Let's talk allyship this IWD [Video]

#ExplainIt: Let's talk allyship this IWD [Video]

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Almost half of women in Asia do not feel satisfied with their career progression, with satisfaction levels being at the lowest in Hong Kong. This is according to a survey conducted by WISE on behalf of Watsons. Nearly half of the 3,100 female respondents aged 20 to 29 across six markets, including Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and Hong Kong, feel stressed in an unbalanced gender workplace and think that gender equality is important in the workplace to make women feel good and comfortable. Over 30% do not have enough support from their companies.

According to the survey, the top support that women are looking for are mentoring support, seminars on stress management and career success, and networking events.

Meanwhile, statistics from Forrester showed that 11% of men hold C-level positions, whilst women comprise just 6% of executive leadership positions. Additionally, a quarter of men are employed at the director level or above, compared to only 13% of women. Also, a quarter of the men Forrester surveyed in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, the UK, and the US are employed at a director level or above, compared to 13% of women.

Safe to say, much still needs to be done when it comes to breaking the glass ceiling and lifting more women into leadership positions. Forrester's CMO, Shirley Macbeth, said in her experience, women provide a diversity of thought that is grounded in intuition, empathy, and perception.

"Women tend to be excellent people leaders as they are adept at listening not only to what’s said, but what’s unsaid. They intuit based on subtle cues and build more personal connections in the workplace based on their ability to probe, talk it out, and be more vulnerable than men in similar roles," she added. 

This year's International Women's Day theme is #BreakTheBias which encourages everyone to imagine a gender-equal world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. It also encourages one to think of a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, and a world where difference is valued and celebrated. This journey, however, is not one for women to walk alone. In fact, allyship with their male counterparts is equally important.

According to a 2021 study by the University of Kansas, men can have a major influence on the extent to which women feel that their identity is safe within a workplace. The research, published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, reports that the presence of a gender equality supportive ally reduces anticipated feelings of isolation while increasing anticipated support and respect.

The research found that stating allyship intentions significantly reduced women's anticipation of workplace harassment and hostility.

Researchers also found that allyship in a male-dominated workplace is effective for women, especially when the ally is male. While the female ally was perceived as championing gender equality, this did not reduce expectations of workplace hostility or isolation.

Forrester's Macbeth told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that the business case for female leadership is easy to agree with, but hard to realise without active allyship from male leaders. According to her, men still dominate the boardroom.

"With this power comes the responsibility to seek diverse perspectives and create a culture of inclusion where women leadership is the expectation rather than the exception. Simple actions such as active listening and respecting a different point of view can go a long way," she added.

This International Women's Day, MARKETING-INTERACTIVE reached out to female industry players to share how having a male ally is crucial to the rise of women to the top. At the same time, the allies also shared more on equal opportunities and why its important to them.

Click on the pictures to watch the video!

1. Mazuin Zin, MD, Edelman Malaysia


2. Foo Siew Ting, CMO, Greater Asia, HP


3. Chloe Neo, COO, Omnicom Media Group Singapore


4. Lina Marican, regional MD, Mutant Communications


5. Juliana Chua, head of marketing, Vettons


6. Evelyn Pang, VP, marketing, ZP Therapeutics


MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's Content 360 is back for its 10th year! Running from 26 to 27 April 2022, the hybrid conference covers topics including the creator economy, value-based storytelling strategy, consumable content on social, as well as video and community content. Register today to learn, connect and level up with the best content marketers in Asia! 

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