Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 - MasterCard Worldwide
Seven Markets in Asia/Pacific See Rise in MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement Score

Women across the Asia/Pacific are feeling slightly more empowered, based on the findings from the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement. In particular, a slightly higher proportion of women perceive themselves to be earning above median income – 80 women per 100 men across the region compared to 75 women per 100 men in 2009.

The pan-regional Index score is up slightly from last year, coming in at 85.57 this year from 84.47 in 2009. The score for labour force participation is holding at 71 women per 100 men while tertiary education enrollment rate (106 in 2009 to 107 in 2010) continues to increase from last year. There has however been a slight dip in indicator score in terms of women seeing themselves in a managerial role – from 86 in 2009 to 84 this year.

Seven of the 14 Asia/Pacific markets are witnessing a rise in their scores – India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines and Taiwan.

The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement measures the socioeconomic level of women in relation to men using four key indicators:

• Two of the indicators are based on source data from national statistics bureaus and show the ratio of female to male participation in the labour force and tertiary education.
• Two of the indicators are based on survey data, and measure the ratio of female to male respondent perceptions of whether they hold managerial positions at work and earn above median income. These subjective factors are a gauge of how empowered and valuable respondents feel at work.

The resulting Index figure calculated from these indicators shows how close or how far women in each market are achieving socioeconomic parity with men. A score under 100 indicates gender inequality in favor of males while a score above 100 indicates inequality in favor of females. A score of 100 indicates equality between the sexes. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.

The research also shows more women seeing themselves as making most of the major financial decisions in their households. This is seen in 11 of the 14 Asia/Pacific markets. In particular, Australia (+35 percentage points), Hong Kong (+31.7 percentage points ) and Malaysia (+30.5 percentage points) boast the greatest increase in the percentage of women who perceive themselves as controlling the household’s purse strings compared to last year.

“Women continue to make strides in labour force participation and tertiary education enrollment and we are glad to see this translating into a greater sense of self worth in terms of their earning capabilities. This may explain the increased number of women who are viewing themselves as the major financial decision maker in their households. It is heartening to note that women are feeling more empowered. As a company, MasterCard is committed to helping women reach their potential with our range of initiatives such as our scholarship and CSR programs,” said Georgette Tan, vice president, Communications, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

MasterCard has a range of initiatives that seeks to empower women, including the U21 Global Scholarship for Women in Travel and Tourism which was launched in 2006 to provide working women professionals a program to develop their leadership skills and realize their full potential in the area of travel and tourism. The program comprises scholarships given out for the U21Global Executive Diploma of Business Administration that can articulate into The University of Nottingham MSc in Tourism and Travel Management. It also supports women through its work with organizations such as Rags2Riches in the Philippines and the Mitrataa Foundation in Nepal, which seek to train women with skills to make a livelihood.

The Female Consumer – How Confident is She in Her Outlook?

Across the Asia/Pacific, female consumers (MasterCard Worldwide Consumer Confidence Index score : 66.8) are slightly more confident about the next six months compared to their male counterparts (65.7). This is driven by optimism towards the economy (72.2), the stock market (69), regular income (66.5), employment (64.9) and quality of life (61.2). The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence score is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as the most optimistic and 50 as neutral.

In terms of the respective markets in Asia/Pacific, women in Australia, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam are more confident about the next six months compared to the men.

The Female Decision Maker – Who is she and what are her spending priorities?

Across the Asia/Pacific, the female household financial decision maker is typically aged between 31-45 years old (43% of respondents) and working (62 %).

She plans to maintain similar levels of discretionary spend and saving over the coming six months. In terms of her purchasing priorities, the purchase of white goods (as indicated by 85% of respondents) is the top priority, followed by dining and entertainment (62%) and fashion and accessories (53%).

NOTE TO EDITORS:

The full report of the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement can be found at the website www.masterintelligence.com

Slides on the report can be found at http://www.slideshare.net/MasterCardNews

MasterCard and Women

MasterCard is committed to empowering women through initiatives such as its U21 Global Scholarship for Women in Travel and Tourism, which was launched in 2006 to provide working women professionals a program to develop their leadership skills and realize their full potential in the area of travel and tourism. The program comprises scholarships given out for the U21Global Executive Diploma of Business Administration that can articulate into The University of Nottingham MSc in Tourism and Travel Management.

MasterCard has also devoted extensive resources to developing a deeper understanding of the women's segment in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. It regularly releases consumer insights and trend research on women. These can be accessed at its online repository of proprietary research www.masterintelligence.com

MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties


The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement is part of the MasterCard Worldwide Index suite of research products in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The others include the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence and MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience.

Besides these, MasterCard also regularly releases its Insights reports; the series is part its ongoing research and analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 60 Insights reports have been produced since 2004. MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by its Asia/Pacific economist, Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong and published by John Wiley & Sons.

The MasterCard Indexes and Insights reports are available at www.masterintelligence.com

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MasterCard Worldwide


MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 22 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial-institution customers and merchants. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network and through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to www.mastercard.com. Follow us on Twitter:@mastercardnews.
Eugenia Koh
P: +65 6825 8029
W: www.masterintelligence.com

Vani Viswanathan

P: 65 6825 8053
W: www.slideshare.net/MasterCardNews

Keywords

Women, Advancement, Gender Equality, Gender Gap Studies

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