SG50 Champions of Change

Willie Cheng

Chairman, Singapore Institute of Directors
Independent Director, UOB Bank and Far East Hospitality Trust

Diversity is important for an effective board because it reduces groupthink and uncritical conformity. Board diversity is more than about gender. However, gender diversity is a significant issue as women are clearly and significantly underrepresented on Singapore boards. 

The problem lies on both the supply and demand side of the equation. Therefore, the solution needs to address both aspects. One SID’s part, we are stepping up to help increase the pool of board-ready women candidates, to educate boards on the need and means for gender diversity, and to facilitate the appointment of women on boards.

On SID’s own board, 25 percent are women, and they have all contributed significantly to moving the Institute forward.