The rise of women in technology roles in Singapore

18 June 2015

Half of all firms report hiring more women technology professionals

Technology is usually seen as a profession dominated by men. Yet a survey by specialist recruitment firm Robert Half shows the number of women in technology roles is booming in Singapore.

According to the survey, 49 per cent of companies have recruited more women into technology roles during the last five years. The survey was conducted among 901 Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in eight countries. There were 100 respondents from Singapore, of which 27 were women.

The biggest increase in female technology professionals has occurred in mid-sized companies with between 150 and 499 employees, with 62 per cent of companies increasing the number of women in technology roles.

In small companies – those with between 50 and 150 employees – 44 per cent have employed more women in technology roles. In large firms with 500 or more employees, 40 per cent reported an increase in female technology professionals within their ranks.

Table 1: In the last 5 years, has the prevalence of female technology professionals and leaders in your business increased, decreased or stayed the same?

 

Total

Small

(50-149 employees)

Medium

(150-499 employees)

Large

(500+ employees)

Increased
49%
44%
62%
40%
Decreased
19%
33%
13%
19%
Stayed the same
32%
22%
26%
42%

 

Of the eight countries surveyed, the biggest gains for women in technology is in Australia where 65 per cent of companies have employed more women in technology roles, followed by the United Kingdom (52 per cent).

The country where women technology professionals are struggling to make their presence felt is Japan. While 31 per cent of companies say they have employed more female technology professionals, 32 per cent of companies reported a decrease.

Table 2: Response by country

 

All Countries

Australia

France

Germany

Hong Kong

Singapore

Switzerland

UK

Japan

Increased

44%

65%

42%

36%

42%

49%

48%

52%

31%

Decreased

18%

14%

21%

14%

18%

19%

20%

14%

32%

Stayed the same

37%

21%

38%

51%

40%

32%

32%

34%

37%

 

Ms Stella Tang, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore said there has been a noticeable increase in both the quantity and quality of women looking to fill senior technology roles.

“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.”

Developing the next generation of women technology leaders

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 per cent of CTOs and CIOs 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 per cent of respondents.

Table 3: Which of the following initiatives do you think is most effective in developing female technology leaders?

 

Total

Small

(50-149 employees)

Medium

(150-499 employees)

Large

(500+ employees)

Greater enrolment in technology education

38%

39%

38%

37%

Mentoring programmes

26%

28%

28%

23%

Government initiatives

22%

11%

23%

26%

Showcase successful female IT leaders

8%

11%

8%

7%

Participation in women-only industry groups

6%

11%

3%

7%

 

Government initiatives were also seen as important, an approach nominated by 22 per cent of CTOs/CIOs.

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

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MEDIA CONTACT

Gabrielle Nagy 
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7751
E: [email protected]

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