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More women taking on technology roles in Singapore: Robert Half survey

Zafirah Salim | June 18, 2015
CIOs and CTOs in Singapore believe the key to getting more women in technology leadership positions lies in the education system.

Despite the general perception that technology is a profession dominated by men, a survey by specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half, revealed that the number of women taking on such roles is significantly increasing in Singapore.

Polling 901 CIOs and CTOs across eight countries - Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and Japan - the survey found that almost half (49%) of the companies have recruited more women into technology roles during the past five years.

The biggest increase in female technology professionals was seen in mid-sized companies (employee size of 150 to 499), with 62% of companies increasing the number of women in technology roles.

On the other hand, in small companies - those with between 50 and 150 employees - less than half (44%) were found to have employed more women in technology roles. And in large firms with 500 or more employees, only 40% reported an increase in female technology professionals within their ranks.

Out of the eight countries surveyed, Australia saw the biggest female hires at 65%, followed by UK (52%) and Singapore (49%).

Conversely, the country where women technology professionals are struggling to make their presence felt is in Japan.  While 31% of companies said they have employed more female technology professionals, 32% of companies reported a decrease.   

Commenting on the notable increase in both the quantity and quality of women looking to fill senior technology roles, Stella Tang, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore, said the glass ceiling is definitely cracking for women in technology leadership roles.

"The rise of women in technology leadership roles represents an increase in the number of women choosing to make technology their career. From our experience, Singapore companies are happy to employ the best person for the job regardless of gender, so the more female candidates there are, the greater the chance of women getting chosen for senior positions," said Tang.

Nurturing the next generation of women technology leaders

According to the survey, CIOs and CTOs in Singapore believe the key to getting more women in technology leadership positions lies in the education system.

When asked what initiatives would be the most effective in increasing female representation in the sector, 38% of them pointed to the need to increase the number of women enrolled in technology education courses. 

After education, mentoring is seen as the next best way to develop women technology leaders, nominated by 26% of respondents. On top of these, government initiatives were also seen as important, an approach nominated by 22% of CTOs and CIOs. 

The showcasing of successful women IT leaders (8%) and participation in women industry groups (6%) were not viewed as being particular effective strategies for encouraging more women into IT leadership roles.


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