Singapore women execs in lower ranks
Women make up only 6.9 percent of board members of listed companies on the Singapore Exchange (SGX), according to an inaugural report to track gender diversity in SGX-listed boardrooms.
The report - to be published annually - is a collaboration between BoardAgender, an outreach arm of the Singapore Council of Women's Organisations, and the NUS Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations.
Its findings prompted Minister of State (Community Development, Youth and Sports) Halimah Yacob to suggest on Tuesday that Government- and Temasek-linked companies "take the lead and support the appointment of more women to their boards".
Madam Halimah, who was speaking at the launch of the report, said: "Our women have achieved much progress in education and at work. Yet they continue to face obstacles in rising to the top leadership positions in the corporate world."
Reiterating that "this is not just a numbers game", Mdm Halimah described the proportion as "dismal".
She added: "It is about ensuring that our leadership in all sectors reflect the diversity of our society. It is about recognising that women can bring different skills, perspectives and experience to the boardroom."
According to Mdm Halimah, Norway has the highest rate of women represented on their boards - about 40 percent. In Sweden, 27.5 per cent of their directors are women and in Finland, the proportion was about 24.5 per cent.
She added: "Some Asian countries have done better than Singapore. In Hong Kong, 8.6 per cent of the board directors are women, and in China the figure is 8.1 per cent. Even Malaysia, at 7.8 percent, has done better than Singapore."
The report - which covered the period between 2008 and last year - showed that property, transport, storage and communications sectors have the highest female representation in the Singapore boardrooms at 9.4 percent.