7 Apr 2017 | by Junie Foo, BTInvest
In Singapore, the issue of board diversity, in particular, gender diversity has moved up the national and corporate agendas over the last two years.
Since 2015, there have been various initiatives to raise awareness on diversity and encourage action amongst publicly listed companies. These include:
1. The formation and initiatives of the Diversity Action Committee (DAC)
2. BoardAgender’s SG50 Champions of Change, calling on corporate leaders to make the change for gender-balanced business.
3. SID’s launch of the Nominating Committee Guide in August 2015, which saw 220 companies signing up to the Board Diversity Pledge, and
4. Numerous forums discussing the subject.
Despite these efforts, the proportion of board seats occupied by women directors has only inched up from 8.8 per cent in 2014 to 9.6 per cent in 2016. This ratio is a far cry from the women labour force participation rate (60.4 per cent versus 76.2 per cent for the men), and also puts Singapore behind most countries, including neighbours Malaysia and India in board diversity.