Declan O’Sullivan, founder and director of Kerry Consulting, was recently a panel member at a forum conducted by the Insitute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS). Panel members included Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Singapore’s first female Cabinet minister, Ms Saw Phaik Hwa, CEO of SMRT and Mr Gerald Ee, ICPAS vice-president.
The topic was women in leadership positions, and was attended by more than 150 professionals in the finance industry.
Despite global support for the rights of women and men to participate equally in decision making, women are still poorly represented at the higher levels of decision making. The modern corporate world needs to recognise that the optmisation of women’s talents will boost business performance.
The topic focused on the economic importance of women, how they are becoming central to labour market solutions, to the challenges of an ageing workforce, falling birth rates and skill shortages.
Discussion points included representation (64 per cent of ICPAS members are women, but women hold only about 27 per cent of leadership positions), the factors that cause low representation, and quotas.