MasterIndex™ of Women's Advancement Shows Kiwi Women Have Strong Perception of Place in Society
New Zealand Claims Top Spot in Survey of Women's Advancement
Auckland, 8 March 2007 - Women in New Zealand are feeling more positive than ever when it comes to their self worth and the contribution they make to society, research from MasterCard Worldwide revealed today.
The MasterIndex™ of Women's Advancement placed New Zealand in the top spot for the first time with a score of 89.85, 76.18 for Australia and 72.9 for the Asia/Pacific region. The MasterIndex™ of Women's Advancement research, conducted annually, is a composite index that measures the socioeconomic level of women in relation to men, using four key indicators.
"What stands out in particular from this year's research is the fact that New Zealand women are feeling far more confident that they are on equal footing with men when it comes to salary levels," said Georgette Tan, vice president, Communications, Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa, MasterCard Worldwide.
When asked whether they felt they earned above the median income, New Zealand women scored 97.47 (where 100 equals equality with men) – up 45.47 in composite score since last year.
"New Zealand's overall MasterIndex result was pushed up by this vote of confidence, however the low number of women who perceive themselves as holding a managerial position as compared to men, shows New Zealand still has some way to go before true gender parity is achieved," said Tan.
New Zealanders' consumer confidence was revealed last month in the six-monthly MasterIndex of Consumer Confidence which showed Kiwis were also feeling far more optimistic about the state of the economy over the next six months than their neighbours across the Tasman. Of that, men were seen to be slightly more optimistic then females compared to a year ago, when consumer confidence was gloomy.
New Zealand rated particularly high with the other two indicators in the index – tertiary education and labour force – both of which are taken from official data, with scores of 129.24 for tertiary education and 83.13 for labor force participation.
The overall score for Asia/Pacific as a whole dropped by close to four points - from 76.11 in 2006 to 72.9. While composite scores in the area of labor force participation and tertiary education increased somewhat from 2006, the score for managerial positions saw a significant dip (from 70.68 in 2006 to 56.23 in 2007). The drop in score was a result of a slight dip in women's perceptions coupled with a surge in optimism from men towards being in managerial positions. The score for above median income was 67.87.
"As women continue to enter the labour force and seek tertiary education, it opens up new avenues for employment and their career. Despite positive economic growth and the tightening of labor market conditions, women still perceive themselves as not getting the same opportunities as men when it comes to managerial positions and median income. This, combined with the improving sentiments of men in a rosy economic environment, negatively affects the scores pertaining to the self-perception of women, resulting in a lower MasterIndex of Women’s Advancement score for certain markets," Tan said.
MasterCard has devoted extensive resources to developing a deeper understanding of the women's segment in Asia/Pacific. The findings from this third MasterIndex of Women's Advancement highlights how there is still much to be done in terms of improving women's self-perceptions. 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 20 scholarships for the U21Global Executive Diploma of Business Administration that can articulate into The University of Nottingham MSc in Tourism and Travel Management. The 20 winners comprised of women from Australia, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.
The MasterIndex of Women's Advancement is a composite index that measures the socioeconomic level of women in relation to men using four key indicators. The first two show the ratio of female to male participation in the labor force and tertiary education, and are based on source data from national statistics bureaus. The other two indicators, based on survey data, measure female and male respondent perceptions of whether they hold managerial positions and earn above median income. These subjective factors are a gauge of how positively or negatively respondents feel about their place in the workforce.
The final figures show how close or how far women in each market come to being equal to 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. It is one of the MasterCard MasterIndex suite of research products in Asia/Pacific. The other key MasterIndex research products include the MasterIndex of Retail, MasterIndex of Travel and the flagship MasterIndex of Consumer Confidence.
The MasterIndex™ of Women's Advancement forecast is one of MasterCard's MasterIndex suite of research products in Asia/Pacific. The other key MasterIndex research products include:
The flagship MasterIndex™ of Consumer Confidence - the region's most comprehensive and longest running consumer sentiment survey. Now in its 14th year, the MasterIndex of Consumer Confidence has demonstrated its predictive precision and has proved to be an excellent barometer of the consumer pulse in this region. Today, the survey is much sought after by analysts, academics and decision-makers in financial institutions, government agencies and multinational organizations.
The MasterIndex™ of Travel, which encompasses a six month forecast of outbound travel for 12 markets (Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand) and a survey of business and personal travel trends among the urban middle class across the region.
The MasterIndex™ of Retail, which is a short-term forecast of retail sales growth in 12 key Asia/Pacific markets - Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. The forecasting is done twice a year, to provide powerful predictive market intelligence that is highly relevant not only to wholesale and retail industries, but to sectors such as entertainment, food and beverage, the hospitality and leisure industry, as well as consumer goods manufacturing.
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 16 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard Worldwide serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to www.mastercardworldwide.com.