February 26, 2024

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Singapore Highlights Women’s Leadership in the Digital Realm

Singapore’s Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Home Affairs, Sun Xueling, highlighted the nation’s partnership approach to women’s development during her participation in the 67th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

Minister Sun emphasised the significance of women’s participation in innovation and technology for economic development and women’s advancement. She also acknowledged that there was genuine concern regarding the progress made by women over the years in terms of education, economic empowerment, and employment. Hence, the status of every country in society will be eroded if women are not involved in the innovation and technological change that is currently driving economies.

“I think we all know that healthcare, Medtech, biosciences and hybrid tech are the jobs of the future, and 90% of future jobs will require digital skills. It is not just about digital literacy; it is also about digital fluency,” says Minister Sun.

She stated that the global average of female tech professionals in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is approximately 28%, and many countries who spoke at CSW emphasised how economic growth would not be sustainable if women were not involved in innovation and technology. Thus, many other countries, including Singapore, reaffirmed their commitment to increasing women’s participation in STEM and removing barriers that prevent women and girls from entering STEM.

Additionally, schools and Institutes of Higher Learning play an important role in nurturing young talents in STEM. To provide support for Infocomm technology and media-related studies at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, they have instituted the SG Digital Scholarship.

With this, Minister Sun reported an increase in the number of top female tech talent being awarded by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and enrolling in Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and STEM-related programmes.

Singapore is also ranked fourth in the world and first in Asia in the 2022 IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking. The country aims to provide the best opportunities for women in all sectors, particularly in high-growth areas like technology that will allow businesses to remain competitive and economies to prosper.

Minister Sun added that Singapore’s efforts to attract and support female talent in technology through collaboration with the community, academia, and industry, as well as measures to combat online harms, including those directed at women and girls.

The government of Singapore is taking numerous precautions to ensure that women’s careers and advancement are unimpeded and that they are well supported in the workplace. Employers are required by the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices to evaluate employees and job applicants based on their merit and ability to perform the job.

The country is also rapidly embracing the digital age and implementing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. With this, the Minister believed that they must proactively include data on women in the decision-making process and have women in leadership positions to ensure that women are represented in a variety of fields and that products and services truly cater to women.

She also encouraged the CSW participants regarding the significance of mindset shifts. In addition to legislation and policies, mindset shifts are necessary to eliminate gender biases and traditional expectations of men’s and women’s roles. “To shift the narrative from “what is” to “what can be,” a partnership across all of society is required.”


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