We are a team of students from the Singapore Management University (“SMU”) Diversity Leadership Development Programme and SMU Women’s Connections. We believe that all employees are valuable members of many organisations that operate in Singapore. Companies can therefore harness the potential of stronger teams by ensuring that all employees feel safe, valued and included - regardless of one’s gender. In 2014, Singapore saw more women than men enter tertiary educational institutions. Despite this progress made, a study conducted in 2015 found that women were part of only 9.1 per cent of SGX- listed boards, with almost half of these boards being predominantly occupied by male members. The figures reflect a situation of a “leaking pipeline” in Singapore, where there is a drastic drop in women’s participation moving from middle to senior level positions. There is also a decrease in the number of women who remained employed after 30 years old. In response, there has been more focus in recent years on gender-inclusive initiatives, particularly in the aspect of family-friendly policies and women leadership. However, to make a difference in achieving a more gender inclusive environment, this guidebook puts forth the perspective that a comprehensive set of practical policies should be set up coherently to address various issues faced by individuals during their employment with a company. The policies are categorised into five dimensions: Employment and compensation; Working environment, practices and cultures; Family friendly policies; International mobility; Succession planning and women leadership Research has also revealed that a common problem that underpins the current state of gender inequality is unconscious bias. Unconscious biases are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form unconsciously. As such, all five themes would call out stereotypes inhibiting gender inequality, following which we provide recommendations to address them. The practical nature of the ideas in this guidebook make it relevant for most companies, regardless of their size, industry and resource availability. As these policies work towards building a common goal of inclusion for all employees, no demographic will be excluded in the process. These practices have been compiled based on extensive literature review and in consultation with human resource practitioners, Diversity and Inclusion (“D&I”) practitioners, members of employee resource groups, career coaches, gender advocacy groups and C- suite executives from leading companies in various sectors. Anecdotes from selected interviews are included in this booklet so that readers can appreciate - in their own words their experiences, challenges and hopes. In order to protect our participant’s privacy and the integrity of our contributors, pseudonyms have been used.
Human resources management, inclusive workplace policies, diversity, Singapore, inclusive HR practices, support networks, women, gender inequality, women leaders
Asian Studies | Human Resources Management
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
WONG, Benjamin Tien Yong; LOY, Gillian Pei Wen; and TEO, Claris Wan Xin.
Building gender-inclusive workplaces in Singapore: A practical guide for companies and human resource practitioners. (2017). 1-37. Student Publications.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/studentpub/4