Nikita Mishra
May 31, 2023

Inclusion at standstill: Singapore falls short on DEI and gender pay equality

Find out which APAC markets are making strides in bridging the inclusion and pay parity gap whilst Singapore remains stuck behind the curve.

Inclusion at standstill: Singapore falls short on DEI and gender pay equality

APAC is starting to show positive signs of becoming a more diverse, equal and inclusive society. While some markets in the region have make visible progress, Singapore lags behind on the key diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and gender pay equality metrics.

A significant majority of Singapore workers, around 47%, believe that their companies have not made any progress in addressing gender pay equality over the past three years. Similarly, 43.1% of workers feel that DEI policies have not seen any improvements.

These are results of a large-scale study 'People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View' study carried out by the ADP Research Institute on over 32,612 professionals in 17 countries. Participating nations from APAC include Australia, China, India and Singapore; US and Canada from North America, Argentine, Brazil and Chile from Latin America and France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK from Europe.

This stands in stark contrast to countries like Australia, China, and India, where respondents generally perceive positive advancements in gender pay equality (55.5%) and DEI (57.8%) within their organisations over the same period. 

Singapore's lag in inclusion parameters is particularly concerning, as the hub of multinational companies in Asia, the city is a diverse melting pot of cultures and firms in the region have long acknowledged their beliefs in DEI and employee welfare practices and the willingness to be part of the solution. With an increasingly global labour pool, it is crucial for Singapore to not just be on the right DEI track but to win the regional race.  

Yvonne Teo, vice president of HR, APAC, ADP, expressed concerns over Singapore's stagnation in comparison to the rest of the region, emphasising the need for local businesses to buckle up and help fix the situation. 

"Companies can address this issue in different ways. Payroll data – often considered a back-office function – is an important tool to identify and provide C-suites with information on gender or ethnic pay gaps. Companies should also consider investing regularly on the promotion of new roles and job openings to a different cohort of applicants, while supporting internal initiatives that foster connections and champion diversity,” she adds.

Campaign Asia

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