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The Asia-Pacific region, with is diverse economies and cultures, faces challenges in increasing women’s participation in productive economic activities. Data from McKinsey & Company, Inc. in 2021 showed that fewer than 45% of leadership positions in both the public and private sectors were occupied by women. This untapped human capital potential directly impacts national competitiveness and limits productivity growth. Policymakers and government representatives need to recognize this and act to boost women’s representation in managerial and leadership capacities.
The APO Vision 2025 emphasizes inclusive, innovation-led productivity growth, which includes promoting women’s active participation in the labor force and innovative strategies to increase organizational productivity through gender-diverse work roles and decision-making processes. A Conference on Women’s Leadership in Public-sector Organizations for Productivity Enhancement was jointly organized by the Ministry of Manpower of the Republic of Indonesia in Jakarta, 27–28 September. The conference introduced the significance of diversity and social inclusiveness as pivotal drivers of productivity enhancement and discussed how elevating women’s leadership can enhance organizational performance and bridge gender equality chasms.
The conference was met with an enthusiastic reception by 104 participants from 16 member economies. Five resource persons, two from Indonesia and one each from Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka, gave insightful presentations with in-depth case studies and engaged in panel discussions. They covered a range of subjects including women’s empowerment and its interplay with social inclusiveness, challenges hindering women’s empowerment, national policy interventions to promote female leadership, and effective strategies to measure diversity and inclusion.
Minister of Manpower of the Republic of Indonesia Dr. Ida Fauziyah, Acting APO Director for Indonesia Prof. Anwar Sanusi, Secretary General, Minister of Manpower, and APO Secretary-General Dr. Indra Pradana Singawinata attended the event and set the tone with their inspiring opening addresses. The APO remains committed to promoting inclusivity as a key driver of productivity growth and socioeconomic advances.