In the face of the retrogressive trend of gender equality at the international level, multinational and local enterprises in Taiwan have developed and implemented policies and initiatives to promote fair workplaces based on a pluralistic and inclusive mindset, aiming to realize the vision of inclusion.

Although the epidemic in Taiwan has eased much more than in other countries, it also faced a local outbreak in May last year, and it encountered a moment when it was necessary to change the form of life and work. The leaders of different industries are also putting gender equality in mind at important moments and making corresponding changes.

In the process of combing through the contents of the company's report, we observed the performance of Taiwanese enterprises in DEI and women's strength under the epidemic, and how they responded to the plight of women who bore the brunt of the epidemic.

We summarize the following three points to increase the proportion of women in decision-making, the proportion of women in STEM  fields, and sexual equality policies:

First, improve female leadership and empowerment: increase the proportion of women in decision-making

To combat gender inequality that is particularly visible in the workplace during the pandemic, we need women, or underrepresented groups, to speak out in leadership positions and ensure that corporate policies take into account the needs of all groups.

For example, Taiwanese local companies such as AUO Optoelectronics [3], Fubon Financial Holdings [1], Sunbeam Financial Holdings [4] and Cathay Financial Holdings [5] have begun to implement a "board diversity" policy or principle to increase the number of board seats for women, whereas the current number of female board seats in these companies is mostly one to two.

Multinational companies such as Pfizer [20] and Shiseido [21] have more than 20% women on their boards, and Micron [16] and L'Oréal [13] have more than 50% women directors.

In addition to promoting board diversity, companies in Taiwan are also committed to promoting the growth of women in leadership positions.

AUO Optoelectronics [3] has a female executive ratio of 27.5% in 2020, Swire Group's Taiwan subsidiary has a female executive ratio of 34.6% [6], And China Trust Financial Holdings [2] and Fubon Financial Holdings [1].  Women are more than 50% of managers, and in Unilever [7] Taiwan, women account for 60% of managerial positions.

With women in leadership positions, the collective plight of women can be seen, and more gender-friendly policies can be put into practice.

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Inclusive recruitment: Increasing the number and resources of women in STEM fields

The proportion of women in STEM is one such dilemma, especially at a time when STEM is known as the future trend.

Even as the pandemic rages, tech companies such as Micron and Financial Holdings in the financial industry remain committed to driving women's growth in STEM.

This will not only break the pattern of gender-specific people always choosing specific industries, but also prevent women from being in specific industries in the future and once again becoming the biggest victims of the epidemic or other disasters.

In order for the proportion of women in STEM to increase, it is possible to start with the first step in the employee life cycle – recruitment, and then step by step, starting with mentoring ( coaching ) , to avoid women leaving the market halfway.

In terms of the proportion of female employees, Fubon Financial Holdings ranks first in the financial industry in Taiwan, with female employees accounting for about 61.1%, while the proportion of women in STEM positions has reached 51.4% [1].

Taiwan's Micron saw the gender ratio and difference in the equipment engineering team and decided to include "inclusive recruitment" in the recruitment process, but also to understand the potential gender bias through focus groups, and then let everyone see and make changes through workshops [16]. These efforts are also reflected in the data, with the proportion of women in micron technology positions in Taiwan in 2021 being 25.7%, up 1.6% from previous years [16].

HP aims to promote diversity in technology jobs, with global data showing that 21% of women are currently in engineering-related positions and 22% are in IT-related jobs [11].

After recruiting female talents, the next step is to continue to train and cultivate:

  • Microsoft provides 12 weeks of online mentoring to women entering the tech world through wentors, an internal employee initiative —in addition to ensuring that women around the world can participate, it also provides them with the skills they need to sustain their tech careers [18].
  • Micron taiwan has an internal employee resource group, the Women's Leadership Network, which mentors female employees to ensure they can continue to move toward leadership positions in STEM [16].

In addition to driving change internally, companies are also striving to give back to the community. Google is committed to this aspect, crossing the barriers between countries and providing women around the world with the opportunity to emerge in STEM fields:

  • Google has injected approximately $25 million to help women grow through the Impact Challenge, which funds different organizational projects to give women access and opportunities to achieve their economic empowerment goals, including STEM boot camps for women with disabilities in Kenya [9].
  • Internal employees also provide training and mentoring to women around the world who want to start a business through the Google Launch Program [12].
  • To ensure that women's growth does not stagnate as a result of the pandemic, Google has partnered with African organizations to mentor, fund, and train more than 8,000 women in digital skills and financial literacy [8].
  • The online Mind the Gap Programming programme is based in Israel, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, and South Korea, empowering young women to make career plans related to STEM fields [8].

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Third, the sexual equality policy is based: invite men to join the ranks of childcare and implement equal pay for equal work

With women in leadership positions, we can start with internal corporate policies to eliminate the root causes of gender inequality.

The first step is to invite men to join the parenting bandwagon.

Financial industries such as Cathay Financial Holdings [5], Fubon Financial Holdings [1] and Shin Kong Financial Holdings [4] will provide employees with statutory paternity leave in 2020, encouraging male employees and their partners to experience important moments of new life together, and encouraging both male/female employees to share childcare responsibilities.

The second step is to provide flexible work benefits so that employees with childcare or elderly needs do not have to leave the workplace because of caregiving responsibilities.

Unlike multinational companies, which have always had flexible work practices, apart from the flexible work promoted by Shin Kong Financial Holdings [4] to promote a "happy and friendly workplace", Taiwanese enterprises mostly use flexible work as a response measure to the epidemic when the epidemic hits.

The third step is to ensure equal pay for equal work. A person's due salary will not be affected by a person's gender, skin color, nationality, etc. Companies that uphold this principle are:

  • Taiwan: China Trust Financial Holdings [2], Shin Kong Financial Holdings [4], Cathay Financial Holdings [5], AUO Optoelectronics [3].
  • Multinationals: Micron [16], Microsoft [17], HP [10], McDonald's [15], Unilever [22], L'Oréal [14]

Sometimes there are differences in pay, and companies go to great lengths to make adjustments to achieve equal pay for equal work [16].