Record number of Singapore's new director roles filled by women after new diversity rules applied
The influx of women follows new rules that require Singapore listed companies to say more about their board diversity policies.
- At the 100 largest companies on the stock exchange, 36 per cent of board appointments went to women in 2022 – up from 23 per cent in 2021
- The influx of women follows new rules that require Singapore listed companies to say more about their board diversity policies
Women are breaking into Singapore boardrooms at a record pace.
The influx of women follows new rules that require Singapore listed companies to say more about their board diversity policies. Starting from 2022, firms have to disclose their diversity targets, plans, timelines and progress in their annual reports.
By the end of 2022, 21.5 per cent of director roles were held by women, up from 18.9 per cent at end 2021, the CBD report found. Still, Singapore companies remain behind their developed-market peers. Women made up more than 30 per cent of the board members of MSCI World Index companies in 2022, according to an MSCI Inc. study released Thursday.
Other gaps remain. More than 90 per cent of Singapore’s boards are chaired by men, the CBD report found. And just 7 per cent of the top 100 companies had gender-balanced boards, which is defined as having 40 per cent to 60 per cent of men or women.
The influx of women into boardrooms shows Singapore is moving in the right direction, said Mak Yuen Teen, a professor at the National University of Singapore, who researches corporate governance. But the fact that there are still relatively few leadership positions for women on boards “suggests that relatively less experienced female candidates are appointed to boards at the moment and there may be a degree of tokenism”.
Singapore’s “talent pool” of women directors is growing, the report noted. Of all first-time directors appointed to the top 100 companies, women made up 45 per cent, compared with 25 per cent to 30 per cent previously.
Directors have to be appointed on merit and growing the talent pool of female directors in Singapore will take time, said El’fred Boo, an associate professor who studies corporate governance at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.Source: South China Morning Post