IWD at Hopscotch: Key Themes in 2019
3-min read. March is here, and there isn’t a better month to celebrate the success of women in the workforce. International Women’s Day on March 8 has kickstarted a month of celebrations for us here at Hopscotch, and here’s a quick preview of the top themes we are discussing this year.
- Bridging the gender gap in Singapore, that currently stands at a glaring 20%
First, the good news. In the last 10 years, the percentage of women professionals in the workforce has gone up from 56 percent to 60 percent in Singapore. This figure has held steady since 2016. This is a better rank than Australia (at 59.18 percent) and the United Kingdom (at 56.86 percent), according to data from the World Bank.
However, like most countries , women in Singapore are paid less than their male counterparts. And this is a theme that is on the top of most agendas for women leaders in the country.
- The need for women to be more aware about investing their own money
Financial literacy is crucial for women investing their own money and preparing for future scenarios like retirement. Education and awareness are key challenges here. Multiple products, like credit cards and insurance products are already catering to this segment. They take into account key milestones in a woman’s life such as marriage, children and retirement. From reducing dependency on men, to taking the opportunity to talk to multiple experts and to finding out what would work best for them – getting financially aware is key.
- Networking is crucial for greater success
Having support from other women can make a huge difference to women’s success. Networking isn’t just a good-to-do activity, but more a must-do to nurture and build careers.
- Women continue to give up jobs to take care of their families, in comparison to men
Nothing new here, yet the numbers continue to be stark. Women have come up close to men in terms of participation in jobs but 78 percent of prime working-age women see family responsibilities as the main reason for being outside the labour force, compared to 9.6 percent of men citing the same reasons. Social norms like care-giving, domestic work and family responsibilities still overwhelmingly fall on women.
- Women representation in AI sector must increase
One sector that needs greater representation of the gender is AI, since currently nearly 78 percent of the workforce comprises men. Not only are they shaping the future, they are also occupying some of the best new jobs to be created in recent years. However, as machines become better at many cognitive tasks, it is likely that the skills they are relatively bad at will become more valuable. This list includes creative problem-solving, empathy, negotiation and persuasion.
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