New research from Hays Asia Salary Guide suggests the number of women in management in Singapore is going backwards. Last year’s research showed women held 31 per cent of management roles in Singapore – an improvement of the 27 per cent in 2016, but the figure in the latest research is just 30 per cent.
The 2018 Hays Asia Salary Guide also shows a drop in the number of organisations with a formal diversity policy in Singapore – 58 per cent to 53 per cent. Of those companies with a dedicated diversity policy, only 29 per cent claim to adhere to it “well”.
“We are seeing some gains in gender diversity in Singapore in certain sectors, but we need more women rising up the ranks in business so there is a pipeline of talent to the top including board roles,” said Lynne Roeder, managing director of Hays in Singapore.
“Our Guide shows organisations in Singapore – and elsewhere in Asia - continue to struggle with the diversity issue – but if businesses are to manage ever increasing levels of complexity and challenge, they will need a diversity of thinking in their management ranks and gender diversity is a big part of that,” said Lynne. “Having a formal diversity policy appears part of the issue, yet even those that do have a formal policy fail to adhere to it a large part of the time.”
The research also shows a decline in the number of companies offering flexible work practices (62 per cent in 2018 vs 67 per cent in 2017) and at a time when more women, but also men say such options are a priority for them. “Flexible work arrangements are an important way to retain talent who may also have family responsibilities no matter what their gender,” said Lynne.
The 2018 Salary Guide also reveals that Singapore is also going backwards when it comes to cultural diversity in the workplace with the proportion of talent from other parts of the world declining compared to last year.
“We understand the preference for local talent in Singapore, particularly given how well educated the workforce is here. However, our 2018 Asia Salary Guide shows that many of the skills needed by companies in some industries are emerging faster than local talent can develop to meet demand and this will be a continuing trend.”
“To be able to take up emerging technologies that will help companies grow, employers in Singapore will need to be able to tap into the right talent no matter the gender of the candidate or where in the world they are from,” said Lynne.