Is there job satisfaction or gender diversity in Southeast Asia’s e-commerce industry?

E-commerce is a fairly new industry, having only arrived in Southeast Asia sometime around the ’90s, and only became what it is today – a rapidly accelerating economy in the last decade. Hence, we may be wondering if working in this young sector is any different than the older, more developed industries?

Since e-commerce is a place for the internet-savvy, are we expected to see the millennials’ and Gen Z’s work ethics more in this sector? Also, can we see more gender diversity in top-level roles?

With these questions in mind, Southeast Asia’s leading e-commerce aggregator iPrice Group recently gathered data to determine the gender diversity and job satisfaction rates of the top three e-commerce companies in seven countries across Southeast Asia.

Gender diversity in top-level roles

It’s crazy to realise how women just gained the right to vote about a hundred years ago. These days, however, we’re starting to see women climb up the career ladder on the same top-level roles as men.

Nonetheless, the disparity is still present due to many years of women’s unconscious bias to be family-oriented. In Southeast Asia’s e-commerce, we can see quite a gap in certain top-level roles, especially at the C-level position.

According to the study, 31 per cent of women have C-level roles, while 69 per cent of these titles are held by men. 

The same goes for the Vice President positions. 62 per cent of Vice Presidents in Southeast Asia’s top e-commerce companies are men, while only 38 per cent are women.

However, when it comes to Senior Vice President (SVP) roles, the gap is smaller. 44 per cent of the top e-commerce SVPs are women while 56 per cent are men.

Similarly, the gap is smaller in department head roles. 41 per cent of these roles are taken by women, while 59 per cent are taken by men.

Overall, there is a 60-40 disparity between men and women when it comes to being in positions of power. Given centuries of gender inequality and women taking time off for child rearing, the disparity isn’t as wide as many would have assumed.

Comparing all seven countries, Hong Kong has the highest percentage of women in power in the top e-commerce companies in Southeast Asia, where 55 per cent of the top-level roles are actually women.

Vietnam and Thailand trail behind Hong Kong at 46 per cent and 44 per cent respectively.

In the Philippines, 39 per cent of these top-level positions are held by women, followed by Malaysia (37 per cent) and Indonesia (36 per cent).

Surprisingly, Singapore has the least women in power in Southeast Asia with 35 per cent. This figure is somewhat similar to iPrice’s previous study in 2018, which noted that the city-state had an overall 34 per cent of women in these top-level positions.

Source: iPrice Group

Job satisfaction in Southeast Asia’s top e-commerce companies

In a nutshell, employees do not seem to loathe working in the e-commerce industry of Southeast Asia. In all seven countries, the ratings range between average to above-average (from a 3-star to a 4.3-star rating).

In fact, half or more of these employees would recommend e-commerce companies as a workplace to their friends, while e-commerce CEOs have really high approval ratings (66 per cent to 97 per cent).

Indonesians are the most satisfied with the e-commerce industry as a workplace. According to iPrice’s data gathered from Glassdoor, Indonesians give these e-commerce companies a 4.3-star rating.

What’s more, 90 per cent of the participants would recommend these companies to a friend, while 97 per cent of them are satisfied of the higher management.

The next most satisfied employees are Filipinos. They give their top three e-commerce companies a 3.8-star rating, while 76 per cent of them would recommend the companies to friends, and 87 per cent of them are pleased of their CEOs.

This is rather interesting given that the Philippines has one of the lowest recorded salaries (US$588/month) among the seven countries, right after Vietnam (US$394/month).

Despite having the highest salary among the seven countries (US$3,116/month), Singaporeans seem to be the most unsatisfied with working in the top e-commerce companies.

Singaporean participants of Glassdoor only gave an average of 3-stars to the top three e-commerce companies in Singapore.

Only a little more than half of them (53 per cent) would recommend these companies to a friend, and only 66 per cent of them are contented with their CEOs.

Source: iPrice Group

Conclusion: Southeast Asia’s e-commerce industry is ‘not a bad place’

Ultimately, with iPrice’s aggregated data, it seems that this young industry does hold the value of its employees by gaining at the very least, an average satisfaction rate among its employees.

Moreover, it does not seem to discriminate gender as well, given that the total gender disparity among top-level roles is not that wide (60-40).

The future seems to be bright in a new industry like e-commerce, where there are more empathy and less discrimination to its employees.

The full report of the study can be found here.

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