Mary Abbott, Mahagony Road

As a Diversity and Inclusion practitioner, I’ve read the dismal reports of gender equity in the boardroom and beyond. Asia’s progress in closing the gender gap has not received all-star ranking. According to economist Samantha Amerasinghe, Asia Pacific progress is slow and uneven, which is dumbfounding. Economic data shows that by 2025, USD 28 trillion could be added to the global GDP through advancement of women. Despite such numbers, the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development may not reach its goal in Asia to attain equal participation for women.

This gap also cuts across Asian academic institutions, another odd fact, considering the percentage of women PhD’s and MBA’s has increased over the past decade. In China, for example, roughly 59% of women graduatefrom top-tier MBA programmes. In Australia, Malaysia and the Philippines, women comprise 55% of all STEM doctoral students.

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