Office workers in the central business district (CBD). Women in Singapore are not as well represented in the workplace compared with other Asian markets, despite its position as an international hub.

Image courtesy of The Straits Times

Women in Singapore are not as well represented in the workplace compared with other Asian markets, despite its position as an international hub, found a new report.

The Gender Diversity Benchmark for Asia 2014 released on Sept 19 placed Singapore fourth among six Asian markets in representation of women at different levels in the workplace.

According to the survey, Singapore women hold only 29.4 per cent of the jobs available at senior management levels. Although this figure is higher than the regional average of 24.3 per cent, both Singapore and Malaysia’s numbers suffered the most between the middle and senior levels of the workplace.

China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia were ahead in the report, which studied Asia’s gender diversity in more than 30 multinational companies across six markets.

The study conducted by Community Business and lead sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch noted that “other markets have caught up quickly, pulling [Singapore] down from second place when the survey was last conducted in 2011”.

The average representation of women in the total workforce here is 48.2 per cent, as well as at junior, middle and senior levels.

In terms of achieving gender parity at junior levels, Singapore is at 58.5 per cent.

Across the Causeway, companies in Malaysia are achieving or exceeding gender parity, said the report.

For instance, the average representation of women in the total workforce is 58.1 per cent, and 63 per cent at junior levels.

This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on September 19. 2014. For similar stories, go to sph.straitstimes.com/premium/singapore. You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.