The U.S. workplace is not the only area where parents are feeling “torn” between the responsibilities of parenthood and work. The foreign rights to TORN were recently sold to a Taiwanese publishing house, the Heliopolis Culture Group, which will translate the book into Complex Chinese and publish it in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau in early 2013.
According to the recently published Gender Diversity Benchmark Report for Asia, work-life balance is the greatest concern of Asian working women today.
Through a series of in-depth interviews with women working in multinational companies in Asia, the study shows that over 80% of the women interviewed aspire to senior leadership positions. The biggest concern for them to move up is work-life balance, particularly whether they could meet their families’ needs and still do a good job when taking on a more senior role.
Unlike their counterparts in the U.S. or Europe, women in Asia face the additional challenge of working global roles over different time zones.
When asked about obstacles to career progression, almost all interviewees cited family factors such as childcare and elder care. While child care is generally more affordable in Asia than in the U.S., enabling working mothers to return to their jobs after having babies, this ready availability of domestic help can also be a double-edged sword. Employers tend to assume that women are relieved of their parental duties, so do not need to rush home to see their children.
Elder care is also a concern in Asia, as many families tend to live with and care for their aging parents, rather than putting them in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
While the work-life juggle in Asia isn’t just a women’s issue, a recent report by Catalyst, Expanding Work-Life Perspectives: Talent Management in Asia, found that, while both women and men cite long hours, stress and the inability to attend to other life priorities as significant challenges, these challenges were especially likely to affect women’s long-term career aspirations. In addition, more women than men believed that their company did not provide enough flexibility for them to manage their work and personal lives.