15 August 2018 | Fact Sheet

How gendered is recruitment? The case of Indonesia and the Philippines


Workplace participation levels serve as an important indicator of workforce diversity in the total population, however in 2015 there was a stark difference in the levels of workforce participation between men and women in both countries. In Indonesia 83% of men were in the workforce compared to just 49% of women, and in the Philippines 77% of men were in the workforce, compared to just 50% of women.

The report highlights the important role that human resource management plays in overcoming this imbalance and supporting workforce diversity. In particular, gender-aware recruitment practices are necessary to overcome deep-seated biases among both employers and job-seekers regarding gender role stereotypes.



  • The report firstly considers ‘genderedness’ in job advertisements and how this relates to the different cultural expectations around gender roles in each country. In Indonesia, which is characterised as having highly defined gender roles, 76% of job advertisements clearly identified a preferred gender for particular jobs. In contrast, the culture of the Philippines is characterised as having more loosely defined gender roles, and only 13% of job advertisements specified a preferred gender.
  • The report also found that people of working age in both Indonesia and the Philippines have gendered perceptions of different candidate characteristics listed on job advertisements. Certain characteristics like ‘people-oriented’ and ‘reliable’ were typically associated with jobs for women, and others like ‘leadership skills’ were associated with jobs for men. This indicates a tendency for people to apply only for jobs that are viewed as gender-appropriate.

The report concludes that employers need to create gender-sensitive recruitment processes designed to actively seek and encourage greater gender diversity among candidates.




  • Gender in recruitment
  • Genderedness in job advertisements
  • Perceptions of job genderedness
  • Towards a gender-diverse workforce

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