5 male-dominated sectors in Singapore that need to think about gender equality

5 male-dominated sectors in Singapore that need to think about gender equality

This article was originally on GET.com at: 5 Male-Dominated Sectors In Singapore That Need To Start Thinking About Equality In The Workplace

Singapore is a modern, cosmopolitan country in many ways, but are some types of jobs still dominated by men?

We aren't sure whether you are aware of the fact that Singapore Airlines (SIA), our national passenger carrier, has finally employed women to fly its aircrafts. Now, that's pretty shocking given Singapore's status as a modernised nation and how many women here in Singapore are just as qualified as their male counterparts.

According to a recent news report, the two female cadet pilots who joined SIA in August, along with female pilots flying SilkAir, Scoot, Tigerair and Jetstar Asia, account for less than 1 per cent of the entire pilot population here in Singapore.

Learning about that has definitely piqued our interest. Here, we've put together this list of 5 male-dominated sectors in Singapore for those who're curious to find out how far off the gender balance is in some our industries here.

1. Politics

Stated loud and clear on the official Prime Minister's Office website, with effect from Oct 1, 2015, The Cabinet comprises Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Mr Teo Chee Hean, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Mr Lim Swee Say, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Dr Ng Eng Hen, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Mr K Shanmugam, Mr Gan Kim Yong, Mr S Iswaran, Mr Heng Swee Keat, Mr Chan Chun Sing, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Mr Lawrence Wong, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Mr Ng Chee Meng, Mr Ong Ye Kung. And Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien.

Well, that's a ratio of 19:1 there for you.

2. Aviation

If the above-mentioned hasn't sunk into your head, a huge proportion of the pilots here in Singapore are males. According to the same news report mentioned above, women make up only about 5 per cent of all pilots globally.

As small as that number may be, we need to recognise the fact that there are women out there who can handle aircrafts and that they should be given the opportunities if they're proficient and are passionate about flying.

Just so you know, another recent news report actually outrightly declared that more female pilots are required to fly commercial planes in a bid to stem the shortage of pilots.

3. Engineering

Engineering has always been, and still is, a male-dominated sector here in Singapore. Although it's been reported that there has been an increase in the number of women working in the engineering sector, roughly 3 out of 10 were female engineers and research scientists in 2014.

In light of the economic gloom blanketing Singapore currently, engineers working in construction have had to deal with their earnings taking a dip. For those who're curious, check out these 13 jobs whose earnings have taken a hit so far in 2016.

4. Maritime

Did you know that the Certificate of Competency qualification is a requisite for people who work on ships?

Seafaring jobs the likes of marine engineers and ship captains, have traditionally been reserved for men but a 2015 news report shed light that more women have joined the industry though the figures aren't very impressive; a Maritime and Port Authority spokesperson shared that 'more than 20 Singaporean women obtained their first Certificate of Competency from 2011 to this year, up from about 11 from 2000 to 2010'.

For those who don't already know, we've recently written about how the weakened demand in Singapore's shipping industry has led to a decline in both revenue and profit for port operator PSA International, hence leading to a drop in earnings for people working in the shipping sector.

5. Information Technology

We all know how the IT sector in Singapore has been especially vibrant given our nation's strive to become a smart nation.

Case in point, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore launched Smart Nation Fellowship Programme in early March 2016 in a bid to reach out to top technologists, engineers and data scientists 'to help the Singapore government deliver meaningful digital and data solutions to improve the lives of citizens'.

The rapidly growing industry is still dominated by males, of course. You can't just pluck any random person on the street and plonk him or her in IT roles.

It sure doesn't help to read about statistics released by the Singapore government stating that in 2014, there were only 43 females per 100 males who enrolled in the IT course at university level for their first degree. Put simply, that's a female-male ratio of about 2:5.

Also in 2014, it was reported by the OECD that women made up fewer than 1 in 3 professionals in Singapore's science and technology sector.

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