6 October 2016

Majority of women in Singapore say they are under-represented in leadership roles

Source: Robert Walters white paper. Empowering women in the workplace.
Source: Robert Walters white paper. 
Empowering Women In The Workplace, a white paper* from specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters, has found that 75% of women surveyed in Singapore feel that they are inadequately represented in leadership positions. In contrast, 56% of male respondents in Singapore state that they think women have sufficient standing in business-leading roles.

One in five (21%) of the respondents in Singapore agreed that women made up more than 20% of leadership positions in their organisations. However, less than half (45%) believed that there are strong female leaders within their organisations that they can look up to as role models.

Further advocating the need for gender diversity in the workplace, a majority (79%) of women in Singapore cited the presence of a mentor or sponsor at the senior management level as the most helpful driver in empowering them to develop their careers.

Joanne Chua, Account Director of Robert Walters Southeast Asia, comments, “From our interactions with professionals of both genders and observations as market leaders, we noticed that more often, women tend to second-guess their capabilities compared to their male counterparts. This has in turn often limited their progression at the workplace. It is our desire to inspire more females to break out of their comfort zones, challenge the mindsets of society and in some cases, their own mindsets of the role of women in the workplace to fulfill their fullest potential in the workplace.”

Highlights from the survey:

 More than a third (37%) of females in Singapore think their current employer has clear and enforced policies on gender diversity, equality and inclusion 
 Just under half (49%) of women surveyed feel that their organisation is lacking in fair and equal representation of female business leaders 
 When asked to name the top three reasons why women are under-represented, 37% of all respondents in Singapore cited family pressures or commitments outside of work 
 Additionally, 32% believed it is due to a preference by management to promote men over women, and 30% attributed it to a workplace culture that does not actively foster diversity, inclusion and equality


Browse the Empowering Women In The Workplace white paper (PDF)

*Empowering Women In The Workplace is based on a survey conducted in January 2016 to better understand existing perceptions of gender diversity across key markets in Asia Pacific. The survey gathered the views of over 4,400 clients and active job seekers across Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Additional interviews and research were collated to complement survey findings.