International Women’s Day falls today. The United Nations will celebrate it by recognising women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education, and curtailing the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities. Singapore fares well in this regard, with women making up 41 per cent of the technology workforce and surpassing the global average of 28 per cent. However, creating opportunities for women in technology includes ensuring that every woman, regardless of background, has equitable access to those opportunities. More could be done in this regard. Many women active in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics here are more likely than men to perceive that there are barriers to entry and progression in their careers because of gender. This is according to a study conducted by the Promotion of Women in Engineering, Research, and Science programme, whose results were reported in 2022.
In the higher echelons of the wider economic sphere, it is heartening that the proportion of women directors on the boards of large listed companies in Singapore reached a record high in 2022: 36 per cent compared with 23 per cent in 2021. However, there is room for improvement, since the long-term goal is to have gender-balanced boards with 40 per cent to 60 per cent of men or women.