80% of executives in Asia Pacific motivated by Me Too movement

24 September 2018 Consultancy.asia

More than eight in ten business executives in the Asia Pacific have been influenced in their inclusive growth strategies by the spreading #metoo movement according to a survey by Deloitte, with the movement having a far greater impact in the region than anywhere else.

In its second survey report on inclusive growth strategies for businesses around the world, Deloitte has taken a deeper dive to determine the motivations for companies in pursuing inclusive growth, finding that some 67 percent of the 350 mostly C-level executives from high-revenue companies surveyed had been influenced by recent news coverage and public sentiment.

When taken globally, the three news stories with the greatest cited impact have been ‘environmental policies’ (47 percent), ‘skills gap/impact of technology on jobs’ (57 percent), and the #metoo movement (67 percent), which has swept the globe since late 2017 following in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations leveled against US movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

News topics which are motivating businesses

Meanwhile, lesser but still important news topics to have influenced execs across the world include ‘the price of/access to education’ (45 percent), the economic plight of small cities (42 percent), and globalisation and immigration (36 and 34 percent). In addition, income inequality, racial tensions, the drug epidemic, tax reform and the LGBT community also figured.

When broken down regionally however, the Deloitte survey found that the #metoo movement had a significantly greater impact on inclusive growth strategies in the Asia Pacific than elsewhere around the globe, with a stunning 84 percent of local respondents stating an influence compared to ~64 percent in North and Latin American and just 54 percent across EMEA.

Top three news topics motivating businesses by region

However, the survey also found that while 81 percent of C-level executives believe that inclusive growth initiatives are more greatly effective when interwoven with a business’s overarching strategy through a top-down commitment, for the most part the programmes were being driven by corporate social responsibility leaders or human resources professionals (70 and 56 percent).

As further noted by the report, the external influences have the further effect of influencing the target of inclusive growth efforts, with nearly a third stating that their aim was to aid their communities of operation, and 30 and 29 percent seeking to help people in their countries or people worldwide. Just 12 percent said they were pursuing strategies for their employees alone. 

Reasons driving inclusive growth initiatives

Despite this lower level of consideration given to employees as the target of initiatives, when asked what the most significant return on investment was to date, the majority of respondents cited improved employee engagement and retention as the greatest factor, as well as the increased attraction of talent. Just 3 and 7 percent stated no social or business investment returns.

Still, very few businesses – just 16 percent overall – were using quantitative metrics to evaluate the benefits of their investments, such as to determine the impact on air quality for carbon reduction initiatives or the number of students graduating an education programme. Businesses in general were more focused on public sentiment and employee and stakeholder feedback.

Return on investment from inclusive growth initiatives

The report suggests that the widespread lack of quantitative evaluation measures being adopted, and with employee satisfaction as the current primary measure for determining success, there may be a disconnect between the “intended targets of inclusive growth initiatives (broader populations) and the initiatives’ actual beneficiaries and performance indicators.”

The authors conclude; “there is an opportunity for businesses to restructure their approach to ensure they measure their efforts in terms of their impact on populations beyond their four walls. Increasingly looking to quantitative and qualitative measurements regarding the impact on people outside of the company, will help solidify the continued business case for inclusive growth.”

Private equity sector in emerging markets massively male-dominated

01 April 2019 Consultancy.asia

China leads the way for gender balance in private equity according to research from global management consultancy Oliver Wyman, but at just fifteen percent of firms it’s a far cry from parity.

Senior private equity and venture capital professionals are by and large all male in both the emerging and developed markets according to a fresh study from global strategy and management consultancy Oliver Wyman, making up nearly 90 percent of the total mix. While China features the highest ratio of female senior decision-makers at 15 percent, that figure drops to 12 percent for the rest of East Asia and just 7 percent in South Asia.

These are just some of the figures revealed in the Oliver Wyman report ‘Moving Toward Gender Balance in Private Equity and Venture Capital’, which in association with the International Finance Corporation and investment firm RockCreek looked into the performance of gender balanced leadership teams – defined as those with at least 30 percent each of men and women – in the private equity and venture capital sector in emerging markets.Percent of Senior Investment Professionals Across Private Equity and Venture Capital who are FemaleAltogether, in respect to both private equity and venture capital firms, only 15 percent were determined to be gender-balanced at the upper-levels – well below the number of all-male-led investment teams which accounted for nearly 70 percent of the cases. As a further breakdown, 16 percent of the teams surveyed were all considered male-dominated, while there were no female-dominated teams noted in the study and just 1 percent found to be all-female-led.

Meanwhile, those receiving investments in emerging markets also tend to be men, with women led-businesses receiving only 8 percent of the deals and less than 10 percent of the investable capital – delivered in median sums which are at around 65 percent of that distributed to male-led businesses. These portfolio companies, also, were found to be mostly imbalanced, with lower than average rates of 20 percent.

“Women are significantly underrepresented as leaders in PE/VC firms, and their lack of representation means that the decision-making teams allocating capital in emerging markets are acutely imbalanced,” state the authors of the Oliver Wyman report. “Our research suggests that this imbalance may not only be reducing the returns of PE/VC firms, but could also be reducing female entrepreneurs’ equal access to capital.Percent of Capital Recipients who are Female by GeographyWomen, of course, remain under-represented in a range of roles across industries, and improving the level of representation has various normative benefits, such as creating stronger role models for future generations. For business, better representation can also have a number of benefits, from additional perspectives to improvements to the bottom line. And such is the case for the private equity sector, with the analysis finding that gender-balanced teams generate as much as 20 percent higher returns.

“Through our research, we have showcased the benefits of making gender balance an organisational priority,” the report concludes. “Moving the PE/VC industry toward gender balance will require action from both general and limited partners, and steps can be taken today by individual organisations interested in changing the male-dominated status quo. Actions taken today can help partners, women-owned and -led businesses, and the PE/VC industry as a whole reap the benefits of gender diversity.”