SINGAPORE: The employment rate of female Singapore residents has increased over the past decade, from 54 percent in 2010 to 57.7 percent in 2020, which ranks well compared to OECD countries Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang said on Wednesday (January 12th).
She was responding to parliamentary questions from Ms. Cheryl Chan (PAP – East Coast) and Ms. Tin Pei Ling (PAP – MacPherson) on employment trends for women.
Ms Chan asked for comments from the Department of Manpower (MOM) on emerging trends for professional women joining emerging industries such as digitization and sustainability. Ms Tin asked which growth sectors are currently experiencing the greatest shortage of talented and leadership women, and what factors could have contributed to this gender imbalance.
Ms. Gan said the share of women among professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) has increased over the decade from 41.1% to 45.6%.
“We are seeing more and more women join growing industries such as information and communications, financial services, and health and social services,” she said. “In total, women represent 52.8% in these three sectors.”
The share of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs, although lower, fell from 29.9% in 2015 to 32.4% in 2020.
A 2019 study on the adjusted gender pay gap in Singapore found that differences in gender ratios between occupations may be due to gender differences in terms of personality and psychological traits, skills, different values placed on flexibility at work, as well as social norms, Ms. Gan said.
“We will continue to work with our tripartite partners and community stakeholders to support the participation of women in the labor market and help them access and retain the occupations of their choice, including in emerging sectors.