More women reaching senior management and board level in Singapore: Survey

SINGAPORE - More women are reaching senior management and board level in Singapore, according to a survey by global workplace provider, Regus. 42 per cent of businesses reported that they now have more than one woman at board level. This is a marked increase from 31 per cent two years ago.

While women are still more likely than men to have to combine their professional lives with looking after the home and family, this latest study suggests Singapore is a haven for female workers. Women are not represented at board level in only 29 per cent of businesses, while globally, 37 per cent of respondents say they have no women at board level.

The survey, canvassing the opinions of more than 20,000 senior executives and business owners across 95 countries, also found that in Singapore, 49 per cent of respondents agree that the number of women at board level in their sector is increasing.

A driving force behind getting more women in executive roles is flexible working. Research from Catalyst, an NGO devoted to the development of inclusive work environments, confirms more women aspire to reach senior level at companies that offer flexible working, compared with those at companies that don't.

Other outcomes of the Regus survey include the finding that only 3 per cent of respondents think the number of women at board level is decreasing in their sector, while 40 per cent of businesses had no women at board level two years ago.

John Henderson, Regional Director APAC for Regus says: "With the IMF reporting that a 70 per cent increase in female employment can increase per capita gross domestic product by 5 per cent, it is more important than ever for companies to encourage women to break through the glass ceiling.

"It's not surprising that more and more women see flexible working as a key enabler for their executive level ambitions, and while we are seeing a global increase in the number of women taking up top jobs, proactive businesses that address this issue will undoubtedly reap the financial rewards of a happier and more engaged female workforce."