Almost 50% of women lack confidence, survey reveals

For International Women’s Day, Watsons released results from a regional ‘Women’s Confidence Survey in Asia’. Two major findings are: 1) Almost 50% of women feel unconfident; 2) Mentoring support and seminars on stress management & career success are the top support women need.

According to Malina Ngai, CEO of A.S. Watson (Asia & Europe), “Watsons has had a deep connection with women for over 180 years. We believe that the best version of you and your real beauty should radiate from within. Confidence is an important part of inner beauty and is what makes you feel good and positively impacts your mental well-being.

“That’s why Watsons has recently appointed WISE to conduct a survey about women’s confidence in Asia to find out what kind of support women need to feel more confident and help them become a better version of themselves.”

‘Women’s Confidence Survey in Asia’ has been conducted with over 3,100 women aged 20-29 across six markets including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The respondents were asked to rate their confidence levels and what are the things that can help to boost their confidence.

The findings show that almost half of all women in Asia are not confident about themselves at work and in life. Women’s confidence levels are lowest in Hong Kong, closely followed by Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia and Mainland China. The survey further reveals that staying healthy inside out, as well as gaining recognition from coworkers are key to helping women gain confidence. In the Philippines, women believe that they will be more confident if they are staying health (70%), doing a purposeful job (65%), and doing something good for the environment (56%).

Equitable, Supportive, and Family-friendly Workplace is Key

Notably for the Philippines, 70% are satisfied with their career progression and almost all believe that it’s possible for women to excel in their career.

Almost half of the respondents feel stressed in an unbalanced gender workplace and think that gender equality is important in the workplace to make women feel good and comfortable. Over 30% do not have enough support from their companies. The top support that they are looking for are mentoring support, seminars on stress management & career success, and networking events.

Ngai continues, “The findings show that an equitable, supportive and family friendly workplace is exactly what women need nowadays and we are keen to lead by example. With operations in 11 markets in Asia, women make up 77% of our 63,000 workforce. Therefore, it is Watsons’ ongoing commitment to create a culture that makes everyone feel welcomed, valued, appreciated and encouraged to bring their whole selves to work, and each of them is given equal career development opportunity.

“As a family-friendly company, we encourage more companies to join us in formulating policies to support and empower women, especially helping those working mothers to strike a balance between work and family.”

What is Beautiful? Inner Beauty Becomes Increasingly Important

As a trusted brand for women, Watsons has always taken pride in having a deep understanding of women’s preferences. Especially after two challenging years with COVID-19 pandemic impacting everyone’s life, we are keen to understand how women’s perception of beauty evolves amongst our over 100 million loyal customers.

In another recent survey Watsons commissioned titled ‘What is Beautiful’, more than 11,000 women aged under 45 in 12 markets across Asia and Europe were interviewed about how they value things around them and how they define beautiful after going through a pandemic. On average, 75% of women agree that inner beauty has become more important than ever, especially in the Philippines (96%), followed by Malaysia (91%), Thailand (86%), Hong Kong (83%) and Taiwan (82%).

When being asked about the definition of ‘beautiful’, taking care of your health inside out tops the list, with feeling confident and feeling happy in the second and third.

“These findings are consistent with those in our ‘Women’s Confidence Survey in Asia’ that reveals staying healthy inside out is important to boost confidence which is important for both physical and mental wellness,” Ngai adds.

With this insight, Watsons Philippines offers up to 30% off on Women’s essentials like vitamins, supplements and personal care products for the whole month of March to help ensure Filipinas feel beautiful and health inside and out, thus boosting their confidence.

‘The New Beautiful’ Campaign Promotes Inner Beauty in Women

What’s the most beautiful thing in life?’ The survey continues. Almost half the respondents feel that the most beautiful thing in life is doing good to the people around them, communities and even the planet we live in.

Ngai believes as our customers gradually emerge from the pandemic crisis, it’s time to empower each other. “The survey results redefine what beautiful means in people’s mind. Doing good is a way to make people feel good, beautiful and confident. To boost a woman’s self-confidence, it’s no longer just about outer beauty; instead, it’s about helping women to glow from the inside out.

“As such, Watsons is launching ‘The New Beautiful’ campaign to

encourage women to empower themselves to Look Good. Do Good. Feel Great. Featuring a series of activities across Asia, it will have three overarching themes – Go Green, Go Smile, and Go Empower, which aims to actively involve our community of over 100 million loyalty members in Asia.”

Programmes will begin to roll out across numerous Asian markets soon.

In the Philippines, Watsons also has partnered with SM Supermalls for a special event titled “Women Now & the Future”, a summit on Women Empowerment for a Sustainable Tomorrow at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall on March 8, 2:30-4pm. The conversation revolves around mentoring Womenprenuers and empowering the next generation of Women. Another program that is being planned later this year in partnership with Operations Smile is the launch of ‘Women in Medicine’ programme which aims to empower women in the field of medical science.

In Hong Kong, ‘Go Empower’ online seminar will be hosted to inspire women’s confidence in building personal branding. And in other markets including Mainland China, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan, health talks and women empowerment sharing sessions will run across social media platforms and instore to surprise female customers.

“At Watsons, we believe in The New Beautiful, a new kind of beauty that’s good for everyone. To us, beautiful glows from the inside. It’s how we treat ourselves and each other. It’s how we live, who we are, and who we can be. The beautiful is in us all, and for us all,” Ngai concludes.


  • Rowena Callo Villareno

    Thank you for sharing momsh very informative po and agree po yung nakakataas din ng confidence natin yung tao nakapaligid sa atin.

  • Joaquin Eli Bacod

    Npka ganda nitong survey na ito . Marami din tlga nwawalan ng confidence sa mga sarili . Thank you for sharing this! Very helpful ito para mas lalo pa tayo ganahan at mag tiwala sa sarili 😍💞

    • Charlene

      I love the initiative of Watsons for having such campaign. Many women will benefit from it. Ganitong companies dapat ang sinusupport natin.

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