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Joy, diversity in the e-commerce workplace

These are laws written by men who think we are privileged to be excused from men’s obligations. But it is not a privilege, it is a cage, and these laws are the bars! – On the Basis of Sex

Does your job provide personal happiness and collective empowerment through inclusion?

Are these twin goals even possible in the knowledge economy, electronic commerce, and data-driven Information Age?

One may be prompted to say that under the prevailing difficult circumstances brought on by the still-unresolved 2019 coronavirus disease pandemic – it’s already 2021 the last time Ped Xing checked – a sense of job fulfillment and a broadly representative personnel profile would be asking too much.

He or she may add: “Hey, I’m lucky enough to be still on the payroll. Ditch bliss at work. And what do I care about broad-spectrum representation of gender preferences in the office?”

But, quite thankfully, this is not the prevailing workforce attitude and workplace climate at all.

Even more surprisingly, e-commerce as a sunrise industry is accommodative.

E-commerce is a fairly new industry. It arrived in Southeast Asia sometime around the ’90s, and only became what it is today, a rapidly accelerating economy, in the last decade.

Thus, we may wonder if working in this young sector is any different than older, more developed industries?

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

iPrice Group, a meta-search website operating in seven countries across Southeast Asia, gathered data to determine the gender diversity and job satisfaction rates of the top three e-commerce companies in seven countries in Asia. It compares and catalogues more than five billion and receives about 20 to 30 million monthly visits across the region.

Gender diversity in top-level roles

It’s crazy to realize 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. Only 31 percent of women have C-level roles, while 69 percent of these titles are held by men.

The same goes for the vice president positions. Sixty-percent of VPs in the region’s top e-commerce companies are men, while only 38 percnt are women.

However, when it comes to senior VP roles, the gap is smaller – 44 percent of the top e-commerce SVPs are women while 56 percent are men.

Similarly, the gap is smaller in department head roles – 41 percent of these roles are taken by women, while 59 percent 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 we may have assumed.

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

Vietnam and Thailand trail behind Hong Kong at 46 percent and 44 percent, respectively.

Surprisingly, in the Philippines, only 39 percent of these top-level positions are held by women, while in iPrice’s previous study in 2018, Manila had the most women in top-level positions.

Malaysia (37 percent), Indonesia (36 percent, and Singapore (35 percent) have the least women in power in Southeast Asia.

Job satisfaction in SEA’s top E-commerce companies

Overall, employees don’t seem to loathe working in the e-commerce industry of Southeast Asia.

In all seven countries, the ratings are average to above-average (from a 3-star to a 4.3-star rating).

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 percen -97 percent).

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. 90 percent of the participants would recommend these companies to a friend, while 97 percent of them approve of their CEOs.

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

It’s quite interesting since the country has one of the lowest recorded salaries ($588/mo) among the seven countries, right after Vietnam ($394/mo).

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

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

Only a little more than half of them (53 percent) would recommend these companies to a friend, and only 66 percent of them approve of the CEO.

The lowdown: SEA’s E-commerce industry not a bad place

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.

Lastly, it doesn’t seem to discriminate gender as well, given the total gender disparity among top-level roles is not so 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.

iPrice currently operates three business lines: price comparison for electronics and health & beauty; product discovery for fashion and home & living; and coupons across all verticals.

Behold God’s glory and seek His mercy.

Pause and pray, people.