SINGAPORE - Most working adults in Singapore believe that there are glass ceilings holding women back in their organisations, a survey has found.
Willis Towers Watson, a global advisory, broking and solutions company, said in its 'Women in Leadership in Asia Pacific' report that 63 per cent of local respondents believed that existing glass ceilings in their organisations held back the prospects of women.
This proportion was significantly higher than that of other markets in the region. In China, 46 per cent of resondents believed in a glass ceiling, while 45 per cent from Kuala Lumpur and 36 per cent in Hong Kong felt the same.
Such perspectives are partly due to circumstances within individual organisations, as well as other social pressures, including family responsibilities and exclusion from circles of power, the report said.
And even in the minority of Singapore listed companies that do have female board members, their lack of visibility and office-level presence creates an organisation-wide perception of a lack of female leadership.
The research also revealed that despite socio-cultural factors affecting women in the workplace, the attitude of senior leaders and leadership culture is the most powerful determinate of the advancement of women.
About 55 per cent of respondents from across the region, and 74 per cent in Singapore, said that a key driver of successful advancement is the availability of sponsors or mentors for women leadership candidates.
Most respondents also said that glass ceilings in the workplace could be removed with a conscious focus on gender balance on the part of senior management.