The number of working women has been rising in Singapore, having reached 61.2 per cent in 2020. However, about 260,000 women aged 25 to 64 remain outside the labour force. That is an opportunity, given the demands of a labour-scarce market. It is heartening, therefore, that more than 68,000 women have received help from Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the National Trades Union Congress' (NTUC) Employment and Employability Institute since 2019 to return to work, accounting for almost one in every two job placements by the WSG. For women who remain at home, 15 per cent point to domestic duties as the main reason. Clearly, the reasons must be different for the remaining 85 per cent. It is important to ensure that a lack of access to job opportunities does not preclude the overwhelming majority of women from participating in a workforce which needs them.
That matching of female workers and jobs has received a fillip with the launch last week of "herCareer", a WSG initiative that brings programmes and information for job-seeking women under a new website. Since such a programme can work only so well as the number of applicants who sign up for it and companies which support it, it is to be hoped that both prospective employees and employers take it seriously as a means of meeting Singapore's perennial labour shortage.