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Is Asia the best place for women in finance?

Caiaimage | Paul Bradbury | Getty Images

Asia might be the place to be for females working in finance, an industry infamous for its grueling hours and male-dominated management culture.

Eighty-four percent of finance professionals in Asia Pacific would recommend their company to a female friend, compared with 82 percent in the U.S., 80 percent in Europe and 66 percent in the Middle East, according to a global survey of 5,000 banking and finance professionals published by recruitment site eFinancial Careers on Tuesday.

"Asia Pacific is a friendly place for female professionals in financial services. We are seeing many of the local and international financial services institutions here developing gender diversity initiatives," said George McFerran, director at eFinancial Careers.

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"Flexible working hours, childcare benefits and mentoring programs are among the most popular. They are proven ways to improve the gender balance and they also help attract top female talent," he said.

Mother-of-two Myra Lim, who is employed at ANZ in Singapore, enjoys flexibility in her work day.

"I get a lot of work-life balance as I'm left to do whatever I need to do without being micro-managed. If I need to rush off to look after my children there are no issues," Lim told CNBC.

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While Lim works five days a week, flexible work arrangements allow mothers at ANZ to have shorter work weeks.

"Frankly, I don't see much gender discrimination here," she added.

Her sentiment was shared by Cheong Mei Theng, who has spent over a decade working in Singapore's private banking industry.

The institutions I've worked at have been very supportive of employees with children, she said. "I recall during my time at Citi, there were a few mothers in senior positions that wanted time off and managed to negotiate with the company to get a three-day work week."

Cheong has also been involved with organizing events featuring powerful female corporate figures to recognize women leaders in business.

While such events are positive for celebrating successful women, just 59 percent of financial professionals surveyed in Asia feel that women are fairly represented in management positions.

The global situation is similar; only 53 percent in the U.S., 48 percent in the Middle East and 37 percent in Europe agree that women are represented fairly in senior positions.

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"Getting more women into senior positions is a priority for many financial services companies, and while many are spending a great deal of time and effort on this, there is no quick solution. Another crucial step will be addressing the perception of unequal pay, it is damaging both for the industry and the people in it," McFerran said.

Only 52 percent of women working in the industry in Asia think they are fairly paid, compared with 50 percent in the U.S. and 42 percent in the U.K.