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STEM Jobs can narrow gender gap

The first ever Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society took place in Singapore this year between 12 to 14 September 2018. Supported by the Economic Development Board, the event coincides with Singapore’s chairmanship of ASEAN.

Hosted in Singapore, the Forum recognises Asia’s importance in driving the global economy. Asian businesses, institutions and individuals are being transformed by the deeper levels of connectivity with the world. Moreover, the latest technologies are churned and consumed by the huge Asian economy.

Themed “Bridging Worlds for Inclusive Innovations”, the forum brought together more than a thousand leaders from Asia and Europe to engage in a gendered discussion of major social and economic issues. Forum organiser believe that women in Asia have the capacity to produce innovative ideas and display leadership in the corporate world and public affairs. Hence, achieving gender equality for Asia is important in harnessing the region’s maximum economic and technological potential.

At her keynote speech, President Halimah Yacob said, “We must continue to harness technology to improve the lives of women. If we can combine the best of the global technology industry with the ingenuity and resourcefulness of women to solve the challenges posed by the digital divide, we can unlock a colossal wave of human potential and freedom for future generations.”

The President was responding to an alarming report which found that the automation of jobs was more likely to negatively impact women. Instead of treating the disruptive economy with feelings of hostility and distaste, the President advocated harnessing its opportunities for the greater good.

She cited studies of accessibility to technology as the marker of difference in gender inequality. Not only should women have access to the technology devices and software, but they should also be trained to use them. This will significantly improve the education women receives and better their employment opportunities.

Jobs for women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Artificial Intelligence should be facilitated. Consequently, the gender gap will be narrowed.

At the same time, technology should be used to improve the lives of women. By combining technology with the “ingenuity and resourcefulness” of women, many problems caused by the digital disruption can be solved. Women can and must play a larger role in businesses, especially startups. The President said that involving women in higher level business decisions is not just an issue of ethics, but also a social and economic one.

Citing a study, the President said that in Asia-Pacific countries, close to $4.5 trillion could be added to the collective Gross Domestic Product (GDP) just by improving levels of gender equality. For Singapore, including women will yield a 12% hike in business-as-usual GDP, amount to SGD 26 billion annually in GDP.

Hence more training programs and creating the right pipelines will facilitate the process in which women get to break through the institutional glass ceilings. In a turbulent age, women in positions of leadership will be able to make business decisions which extend beyond the financial bottom line. Women are more inclined toward reinforcing a positive workplace environment and culture. Their creativity and diverse portfolio of talents make giant leaps toward an equitable world.

To the President, this feminine genius is the stuff needed to optimise an economy’s success story.

Fostering an equipped women adds to a larger league future-ready professionals. Harnessing the talent of women can release a floodgate of human potential, and consequently bring about greater freedoms for peoples in the future.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.