There is a need for more formal mechanisms to ensure acceleration of female board representation in Singapore, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Ms Grace Fu.
To achieve this, the PAP Women’s Wing (WW) and BoardAgender, an initiative of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations, have jointly made recommendations to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Ms Fu, who is also Chairman of PAP Women’s Wing (WW), said that companies should adopt a target of at least 20 per cent female board representation by 2020.
She pointed out that women in Singapore have demonstrated that they have the abilities to contribute to their families, business, society and the economy. However, women have yet to be recognised for their ability to contribute at the board-level.
“The number of women on boards in Singapore lags behind other countries such as London and Hong Kong. This lack of progress risks Singapore’s reputation as a leading business hub. More needs to be done to drive collaboration between the business community, SGX and government agencies,” Ms Fu noted.
Besides setting a target, WW and BoardAgender are calling for a revision to the Code of Corporate Governance to include a “comply or explain” disclosure policy for companies on their board diversity in their annual reports.
And to prepare women to take on board roles, WW and BoardAgender are advocating that the Government support the professional development of women for board directorship as part of the SkillsFuture programme.