Article from The Straits Times Forum Page, 2 March 2016

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The Straits Times
Forum Page
2 March 2016

Singapore must keep removing glass ceilings for women

As the majority of the world gets ready to celebrate International Women's Day next Tuesday, it is heartening to note that women in Singapore have pretty much already become a prominent force ("Women stepping up in S'pore boardrooms"; yesterday).

Many of the major international businesses are being headed by women, along with those in politics, not-for-profit organisations and start-ups. We must also acknowledge those who have decided to be chief executives of the household, a role never to be undervalued. Singapore has achieved much success, and we would do well to continue tapping our limited human resources by continuing to remove even more glass ceilings.  As a career coach, I would like to see even more gender equality at the workplace, and also in boardrooms. Companies must continue to place performance and potential over gender.

Much as we are still an Asian people, the challenge is to be able to balance the importance of preserving our Asian values and eschewing archaic beliefs and practices, such as husbands being typecast as the breadwinner and wives, the child minder.

Companies must continue to place performance and potential over gender.

The challenge is to balance preserving our Asian values and eschewing archaic beliefs on gender roles.

Such stereotyping is not helpful to our continued progress as a nation.

Singapore is known internationally to be the best in class, and the first, or among the first, in many areas.

Our reputation in building affordable, quality public housing, life provident funds and more recently, financial and practical support in building our work force's skills comes to mind easily.

We would do well to be the first to move closer to the day when the gender issue is simply no longer one.

Paul Heng




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