What does Singapore think about gender equality in the workplace?

What does Singapore think about gender equality in the workplace?
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Last year, the World Economic Forum predicted that it would take 117 years for women to completely fill the gender gap.

Survey results released on Monday (March 7) by recruitment firm Hays seems to confirm this prediction because they showed that far fewer men than women in Singapore believe that female employees face gender-based inequality at work.

Over 11,500 people from around the world took part in the survey, which revealed findings that support this year's International Women's Day theme - #PledgingForParity.

The theme calls to everyone in the world "to pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly".

Of the respondents in Singapore, 83 per cent of men think there is equal pay between genders. On the other hand, 63 per cent of women share the same sentiment.

Additionally, 79 per cent of men said the same career opportunities are open to equally capable colleagues regardless of gender compared to 65 per cent of women.

When it comes to ambition for leadership roles, men and women had differing views. 84 per cent of men responded that they aspire to reach a top leadership position in their careers whereas 61 per cent of women felt the same way.

Majority (84 per cent) of the respondents in the country also shared that the most senior person within their organisation is male.

Managing Director of Hays in Asia Christine Wright said: "We have a lot to celebrate on International Women's Day across Asia, but many would argue that progress towards workplace gender equality is hindered by the lack of people, more often than not men, who fail to see any problem."

"Given that most people in senior leadership roles are still men, it's difficult to see how gender parity can be accelerated when many of those in positions of influence do not see any inequality to begin with."

However, 36 per cent of women and 37 per cent of men feel there is the opportunity in their current role to promote themselves and communicate their career ambitions.

To close the gender gap, Hays said that employers should encourage female ambition, focus on employee self-promotion, as well as implement and communicate gender diversity policies in their organisations.

Hays plc CEO Alistair Cox said: "Businesses need to make sure they have clear initiatives and development plans in place to retain and promote their top female talent."

"Employers also need to recognise the benefits of a gender diverse workforce, including a stronger talent pipeline, higher productivity and ultimately a more successful business," he added.

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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