SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore has taken the top spot globally when it comes to the percentage of chief executive roles held by women, according to a new Deloitte report.
The Republic stood at 13.1 per cent in 2021, higher than the 9.9 per cent reported in 2018. The study found 119 women on boards among 101 companies analysed.
The percentage of board seats held by women has also increased to 17.6 per cent in 2021, from 13.7 per cent in 2018.
When it comes to board chairs who are women, the number has risen slightly to 6 per cent in 2021 compared with 5.8 per cent in 2018.
The technology, media and telecommunications industries have the most women on boards at 22 per cent, followed by financial services (19.3 per cent) and consumer business (15 per cent).
However, the number of women who are chief financial officers has dropped to 33.7 per cent in 2021, from 35.3 per cent in 2018.
South-east Asian companies have collectively fared better, with an average of 17.1 per cent of women in board seats compared with 14.3 per cent in 2018. This outperforms the Asia average of 11.7 per cent and nears the global average of 19.7 per cent.
Although the region has seen improvements in women board representation, the perception and perhaps acceptance of women assuming top leadership positions in boards are "significantly varied across geographies", said Deloitte.
Indonesia fell by 2.4 per cent, while Malaysia and Thailand reported an improvement of 2.6 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.
When it comes to the average tenure of women on boards, Singapore saw the sharpest decrease in 2021, dropping to 4.4 years from 5 years. Malaysia and the Philippines also saw a drop in average tenure.
Deloitte noted that this could be due to the wider pool of women candidates in these countries given that the overall women participation on boards has increased.
When it comes to women CEOs, the next South-east Asian country to perform well globally is Thailand (11.6 per cent), taking the third spot globally.