Parliament Sitting on 11 January 2022
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
60. Ms Tin Pei Ling:
To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) what are the current statistics of women leaders in the technology and innovation sectors in Singapore at the mid-management, senior management and board levels; and (b) what are the Ministry’s efforts in growing the women talent pipeline.
Singapore is believed to have one of the highest proportions of women in the tech workforce globally. While no established international comparisons exist, according to a report published by the Boston Consulting Group and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in 2020, women comprise 41% of our tech workforce, in contrast with the global average of 28%. In terms of women’s participation on boards of tech companies, the Council for Board Diversity reports that among those listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX), the proportion has increased slightly from 12% in 2019 to 14% in June 2021.
The government is committed to creating more opportunities for women in tech. Since 2019, IMDA has been working with industry and community partners under the SG Women in Tech movement. Most recently, we partnered Dell Technologies to launch the MentorConnect programme, which provides a platform for women to network and be mentored by industry leaders. IMDA has also partnered with the Singapore Computer Society on the SG100 Women in Tech List in 2020 and 2021, to profile women from diverse backgrounds and ages who are successful in tech-related careers. These role models inspire, motivate and mentor younger women in the industry, and help to challenge the false perception that men are more suited for careers in tech.
Beyond leadership opportunities, we also aim to transform mindsets and practices across the industry to ensure that women have equal access to the full range of opportunities in tech. Last year, we launched the SG Women in Tech Corporate Pledge initiative, which calls on companies to create better support systems for women in the workplace, especially for younger women pursuing a career in tech. In 2021 alone, 53 companies, including MNCs like Amazon, PayPal and Microsoft, and local unicorns like Razer and Shopee, have come on board with concrete measures to support women, such as coaching and mentorship programmes, as well as a commitment to fair hiring practices. These companies also contribute to widening our women talent pipeline through targeted outreach initiatives like Microsoft’s SG Codess platform for university students, and the DigiGirlz programme for secondary school students, which help to nurture dreams of a future in tech from a younger age.
More than 120,000 people have been reached through our SG Women in Tech programmes. We will continue to review them, taking into consideration feedback raised at last year’s Conversation on Singapore Women’s Development, to further support our women’s career aspirations and help them fulfil their full potential. We will also ensure that opportunities in the tech industry remain open to women, and nurture women talent to be part of our digital economy.