DIVERSITY TALENT MANAGEMENT TRENDS
Singapore – Singapore companies that want to keep their competitive edge need to rope qualified women into their board of directors, or they may lose these talents to foreign companies.
Global companies are increasingly headhunting for qualified Asian women to add to their boards and management, driven by internal policies or legislative quotas to increase gender diversity, Halimah Yacob, community development, youth and sports minister, observed.
While recent studies found Singapore lags behind other countries in board gender diversity, Yacob said the revised Code of Corporate Governance is encouraging development, as it includes a requirement for the board to comprise directors with diversity of skills, experience, gender and knowledge.
Noting the rise in the percentage of women on the boards in Australian companies, she said she is hopeful that there will be a similar trend in Singapore.
Many businesses are also driven simply by the fact that a diverse team is good for business, she said.
Junie Foo, BoardAgender’s co-chair, noted some European companies have hired headhunters to search for capable female talent in Asia. “This certainly dispels the myth that we lack experienced women in Singapore to serve on boards,” she said.
Yacob urged women to accept invitations to take up board seats in the private, people or public sectors, even if it means being the sole woman on the board filled with members from the “old boys network”.
“The last thing we would want is for companies or organisations to say that they have invited women but they have all been turned down,” she said.
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