It’s 2017 and women are running the word. In Singapore, the amount of women that hold senior business positions has risen from 26% to 30%. This percentage is well above the average for most countries within the Asia-Pacific area. As women proceed to take on more managerial position, 2017 looks like a promising year for business all over Singapore.
Looking Toward the Future
According to Lorraine Parkin, the head of Grant Thornton’s indirect tax and supply service for the Asia-Pacific region, countries are only half of the way to where they should be when it comes to the amount of senior roles filled by women. Parkin points out there is still a huge percentage of businesses that have no women in these managerial or senior roles. With a lack of women in managerial positions, this signifies there needs to be a huge change if businesses hope to grow as efficiently as possible.
In contrast, the countries that have seen an increase in women in managerial positions, the survey from Grant Thornton shows that the developing economies in the Asia-Pacific regions are the ones that really are pushing for diversity. On a global scale, countries in Eastern Europe did the best, with 38% of their senior roles filled by women and only 9% of businesses that did not have women in senior management.
Surprisingly, this contrasts greatly with the other G7 economies, as only 22% of senior roles are held by women and businesses that have no women in senior management is at 39%. When getting back to the Asia-Pacific regions, these countries are notably towards the bottom of the survey. 54% of businesses are lacking when it comes to positions with women in management and 13% of senior roles in businesses filled by women.
Parkin notes there are a myriad of reasons for such a lack in progress when it comes to diversity across the Asia-Pacific region. She notes that the culture of the business and country heavily influence how well they affect and support change when it comes to diversifying the workforce.
In order to see a sustained increase in the diversification of women in upper level positions, businesses need to be open to change and innovation. This is a matter of changing the mindset of current employees as well as hiring new talent that supports a more diversified mindset and workforce.
Having more managerial positions available to women starts with embedding change throughout the businesses, including lower and mid level positions. Additionally, it is helpful for businesses to invest in sponsorship programs as well as mentoring. To see real change, firms should put together risk management teams that are balanced with and equal number of men and women. Women should be provided with more leadership opportunities, as well as confronted with a work culture that challenges and praises calculated risk taking as part of a successful strategy.
As Singapore celebrates its definite growth in diversification of the workforce, there is still a lot of work let to do.