HONG KONG, 29 October 2014 –

At the second Women of Our Time Conference yesterday, organised by SCMP Group Ltd (SEHK: 583), the leading media holding company in Asia revealed findings of an exclusive survey conducted in partnership with Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants (International).

Key findings include:

· There is a dissonance between the perception and reality of gender equality in the workplace.

· Gender inequality is a structural issue when it comes to careerism.

· Female and male business leaders place different significance to success at work and at home.

The survey polled over 500 professionals, managers, executives and business respondents of various industries in an online questionnaire conducted in September. The two genders were equally represented in the respondent pool.

Key findings illustrate that there is a dissonance in the perception and reality regarding workplace gender equality. 74% believe that there is gender equality at work in most companies in Hong Kong. However, 39% of female respondents feel that “males are more likely to be promoted” rather than females. The survey further reveals that gender inequality is inherent in the workplace as only 49% of the polled postgraduate female managers are salaried at HK$40,000 or more per month, compared to 60% of their male counterparts. The median salary of males at managerial grade is HK$32,500 and that of females is HK$22,500.

Furthermore, 80% of female respondents prefer to work with male bosses. They perceive male bosses as more rational (56%), have better emotional management (46%) and leadership (40%). On the other hand, among all the respondents who prefer female bosses, female bosses are perceived to be easier to work with because they are more detail-minded (50%), more considerate (50%) and more likely to build rapport (47%).

Women and men also define career success differently. While 63% of male respondents work hard to be leaders, 56% of female respondents strive for the same thing. 47% of the female respondents are concerned over the time and sacrifices they have to make to be business leaders. 32% of female respondents believe they spend more time on family and household responsibilities than their spouse while 45% of males concede to this belief.

The survey findings were revealed at the second Women of Our Time Conference yesterday. The conference and survey are part of SCMP’s initiative to champion diversity and inclusion issues. This initiative first took the form of the Women of Our Time magazine, first launched in 2011 by SCMP. The yearly publication details and celebrates inspiring and touching stories of outstanding women leaders. Celebrated interviewees included Dr. Margaret Chan, World Health Organisation Director-General; Vivienne Tam, fashion designer; and Ms. Anita Fung, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Limited.

Speaking at the opening of the conference, Ms. Elsie Cheung, Chief Operating Officer of the SCMP Group, shared her thoughts on Hong Kong female leadership. “Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city with some of the world’s brightest minds behind it. We have a lot of female leaders and visionaries in the business world, academia, arts, politics and sports. But yet, women were far from being men’s equals in many areas.” She added that SCMP has been contributing to the dialogue to champion gender equality in Hong Kong’s workplace through SCMP coverage, the Women of Our Time Conference and the Women of Our Time Magazine.

The Women of Our Time Conference yesterday featured a number of speakers, moderators and panelists including Dr. York Chow, Equal Opportunities Commission Chairperson; the Hon. Mrs Regina Ip, Member of Executive and Legislative Councils and Chair of New People’s Party; Dr. Raymond Ch’ien, Chairman, MTR Corporation and Hang Seng Bank; Ms. Carol Liao, Managing Director, Greater China, Senior Partner Director, The Boston Consulting Group; Ms. Stella Lau, Women’s Commission Chairperson; and Professor Fanny M. Cheung, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Psychology and Director, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

A SCMP story reporting the conference and survey can be found in:

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About SCMP Group Ltd and South China Morning Post

SCMP Group Limited (SEHK: 583) is a leading newspaper and magazine publisher in Asia. Its flagship publication, South China Morning Post, is Hong Kong’s internationally recognised English language newspaper and has the city’s most affluent and influential readership.

First published in 1903, the newspaper has developed an enviable reputation for authoritative, influential and independent reporting on Hong Kong, China and the rest of Asia. Available in print, mobile, tablets and online through scmp.com and e-reader editions, South China Morning Post reaches a global audience with daily breaking news, analysis and opinion, multimedia articles and interactive forums. The South China Morning Post received over 160 awards in 2013-14 for excellence in editorial, marketing and technical capabilities.  Other titles in the Group include the Sunday Morning Post, Nanzao.com (南早.com), Nanzaozhinan.com (南早香港指南.com), STYLE, Destination Macau, The PEAK, HK Magazine, The List, Where Hong Kong, and Where Chinese玩儿.

Through the joint venture partnership with Hearst, SCMP Hearst publishes the Chinese editions of Cosmopolitan, CosmoBride, Harper’s BAZAAR, Harper’s BAZAAR Art, Harper’s BAZAAR Bride, Esquire, ELLE, ELLE Men, ELLE Wedding, ELLE Décoration, and ELLE Accessories; and operates Cosmopolitan.com.hk, Cosmogirl.com.hk, Harpersbazaar.com.hk, ELLE.com.hk and EsquireHK.com in Hong Kong. 

For further information please contact: communications@scmp.com