SINGAPORE - HSBC Singapore has committed to having more women in senior roles by 2022, the bank announced on Thursday (March 5).
In a statement, it said that it would have women filling 40 per cent of its most senior positions and 50 per cent of managerial positions by 2022.
This is in line with the bank's recent initiatives in Singapore aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of gender diversity and to support women in moving into more senior roles, HSBC said.
HSBC Singapore chief executive Tony Cripps said that having a diverse workplace is a priority for the bank, and that it will develop a structural framework that seeks to remove barriers and encourage equal opportunity.
Mr Brandon Coate, head of human resources at HSBC Singapore, said: "We've always aimed to be fair in our hiring and promotion into senior positions, which will continue to be merit-based. But having a gender target and making this commitment public holds our management team more accountable.
"It will ensure we are ever-focused on widening and deepening our female talent pool to drive diversity through every level of our organisation."
Meanwhile, a survey conducted by recruiter Robert Half in line with International Women's Day on March 8 found that 54 per cent of female office workers in Singapore feel underpaid.
In contrast, only 40 per cent of male respondents felt underpaid. The annual survey was taken by 500 office workers and conducted in November last year.
In addition, only 43 per cent of women were able to negotiate for higher pay during the recruitment process, compared with 63 per cent of men.
This demonstrates the importance of strong salary negotiation skills to long-term pay satisfaction, Robert Half said.
Ms Fen Teo, associate director of Robert Half, said that strong negotiation skills are a vital part of professional success, regardless of gender.
She noted that while women often demonstrate good negotiation skills in the workplace, they are less likely to use their persuasive prowess to be better remunerated when taking on a new role, even though they "want, need and deserve it as much as their male counterparts".
This could be due to reasons such as concerns about appearing aggressive, but Ms Teo said that knowing how to broach the issue of higher pay can help to make salary negotiations less uncomfortable and more successful.
"By not constructively addressing the topic of salary, both women and men risk holding back their earning potential and professional success, as well as suffering greater levels of dissatisfaction in their current role," she said.