14 years from now, how do you envision the world and your immediate life to be? Gender Equality in the Executive Ranks: A Paradox – Journey to 2030, a study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit in partnership with Weber Shandwick and KRC Research, reached out to 327 executives globally from a wide range of industries to seek their perspective on the corporate landscape for women. 73% of these executives predicted that by 2030, senior management teams worldwide will be gender-balanced.
The benefits to having more women at the C-level are many. Not only does it raise the profile and reputation of a company, it also creates opportunities to inspire and retain female talent. In a time where competition for talent is high, companies cannot afford to dismiss this observation.
A Singaporean male executive who participated in the study said female leaders create opportunities to become mentors to their colleagues as well as to other women, and “bring a lot of balance and rationality to roles which can spark positive change in the company.”
As more companies value diversity, gender equality in the corporate world becomes a hot topic. This is evidenced by the increased public attention to gender-balanced C-suites, a trend that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the participating executives. While the number of published articles and reports on CEOs in general have risen sporadically in the last five years, women-centric pieces have seen a steady climb.
Yet, despite the emphasised benefits and increased public pressure, only 44% of the participating executives noted that their companies have put in place measures to advocate for more female leaders. Closer to home, a mere 4% of senior management teams in Asia Pacific are made up of women.
How then can companies regionally encourage more women to step up to the plate and implement practices to bolster these numbers?
2030 may be more than a decade away, but the path to having more women on top can be paved now, starting with encouraging female employees to rise to the occasion.
We asked the female leadership team at Weber Shandwick Singapore to share their valuable tips and insights for the aspiring C-suite power women out there:
Christina Cheang, Chairman: The indomitable spirit of my warrior mother and other women have taught me that we can retain our femininity and charm while being high flyers in the C-suite. Stay true to yourself and don’t be intimidated by anyone. Be the best of the best to achieve everything that you dream of.
Vanessa Ho Nikolovski, Managing Director: Women often take it all on. We feel the need to say “yes” to everything and it can dilute our efforts. As women, we should be more strategic and prioritise.
Barsha Patel, Senior Vice-President: Channel the holistic power of the Y chromosome and tap into your unique sensibilities to distinguish yourself. Women around the world are elegantly, unstintingly, and bravely embracing the multitude of roles that society expects of them. They are my inspiration, because if they can endure, so can I.
Mabel Phoon, Executive Vice-President: Be curious, always, and embrace change. If you stop learning, your road to success stops there to. In life-changing personal moments, energy, optimism and a can-do attitude is infectious. If helps you to believe that anything is possible.