, Singapore

'Who run the world': SG is the top SEA country with women CEOs

Southeast Asia has 17.1% of board seats held by women.

Deloitte Global reported that women held 19.7% of board seats globally, a 2.8% increase from 2019. At this pace, the world could expect to reach near-parity in 2045 compared to 2052, as predicted in the previous edition.

Deloitte Global collaborated with The 30% Club to release the seventh edition of Women in the boardroom: A global perspective.

Countries in Southeast Asia included in the report are Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. They have collectively fared better, with an average of 17.1% of women in board seats compared to 14.3% in 2018. This outperformed the Asia average of 11.7% and has inched to the global average of 19.7%.

The research showed polarising results where even though 6.0% of board chairs are women in SEA, the percentage change was more dispersed. However, when looking at CEO roles held by women, Singapore (13.1%) and Thailand (11.6%) are ranked first and third, respectively, amongst the countries surveyed. 

"[This year] could be a year of opportunity for the appointment of more women on boards as companies re-evaluate the needs of their board in a post-pandemic business climate," said Deloitte SEA centre for corporate governance leader Seah Gek Choo. "Institutional support, in areas like equal pay, flexible work arrangements, mentorship, and sponsorship programs for women are critical for accelerating the progress of having more women in leadership."

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