Developing Women Leaders in Asia Pacific – The Business Case

As President and CEO of WOMEN Unlimited, I often get the question, “Why don’t you expand to other locations or offer more programs?’ As we celebrate our 20th Anniversary year, we have taken a long, hard look at where we are, and where we need to be.

Helping leading organizations achieve new levels of success by developing and promoting their female talent has always been the backbone of how we grow…and where. That mission, our research, and the input of our corporate partners brought us to one conclusion. We needed to be in Asia Pacific and we needed to be there in 2015.

Let me share with you the major reasons why developing high potential female talent is so crucial for organizations operating in Asia Pacific:

  • The number of women in the workplace across Asia Pacific is increasing, especially at the junior and lower mid-levels. It is a growing, untapped talent pool and their development is critical if organizations want to grow young talent into impactful leaders.
  • There is a huge gap between women in the workforce and the number of women at top levels. Over and over it has been proven that multi-national companies with diverse top teams and boards are more successful. A number of companies in the Asia Pacific region have proven this to be the case and there is great opportunity for other organizations to do the same.
  • The market faces a double problem: an impending shortage of local talent at senior management levels coupled with major retention issues among the junior levels. China, a consistently high growth region over the past decades, is an excellent example. Consequently, many companies operating in Asia Pacific are focused on developing local talent and building pipelines to see diversity thrive at all levels. Developing women early in their careers can help bridge the gap.
  • Exporting women to management training programs in the West has proven to be costly, unsuccessfully and often culturally incompatible.
  • Large economic growth across many parts of Asia Pacific has ushered in fast paced cultural changes. Generational gaps loom heavy, with a younger workforce that has high expectations for their careers, their employers, and their leaders.

For these reasons and many more, Asia Pacific companies have become increasingly aware of the need for developing their talented women. Over 68% of the organizations operating in the region offer some kind of professional development for their female talent. We laud organizations operating in Asia Pacific for taking up the challenge of increasing diversity and inclusiveness. And we want to help them do it right the first time, which won’t happen using piecemeal approaches. Instead, we bring to the table our trifecta approach of mentoring, education and networking, which has a 20+ year success record with over 8,000 women in 160 Fortune 1000 companies.

Based on the input of our current corporate partners we will be coming to two Asia Pacific locations in 2015—first Singapore and then Shanghai, China. Working with us is Emily Roblin, a consultant with almost a decade of specific experience in talent development in the region. In short we are combining our proven approach for female talent development with a localized flare to fit the organizational, cultural and geographic needs of the region. Our goal is simple: to ensure that young female talent will be ready to step up to future leadership roles as defined by their organizations and by changing the global marketplace.

Click here full information about our Asia Pacific initiatives. Please take a look and pass the information along as you see fit.

For many years we have known the importance of Asia Pacific in growing the global economy. Now it’s time to make talented women a driving force in that continued expansion.

Dr. Rosina L. Racioppi
President & CEO
WOMEN Unlimited, Inc.