BLOG SURF: Female leaders

In the run-up to next month’s presidential elections in the US, we have watched fascinated at how an experienced and skilled female public figure continues to position herself as a national and, some would say, world leader.

Globally, it’s true – we now have women as heads of state, major political parties, international financial organizations, and multinational corporations. But these women leaders are still, unfortunately, exceptions – particularly in Asia and the Pacific.

While Asia, more than any region, has had the highest number of female heads of state, this is largely due to family or dynastic connections rather than gender equality.

Why, then, do we have so few women among leaders in the region? What would it take to foster a critical mass of Asian women leaders? Take a look at the public administration sector, for example.

In many Asian countries, more than 30% of public sector employees are women.