More women in top jobs can add $26 billion to S’pore economy

More female representation in top-paying jobs and high-growth industries could add more than $26 billion to Singapore's economy by 2025 - representing additional growth of 5 per cent a year.

The numbers come from a report out yesterday from McKinsey Global Institute, which found Singaporean women are underrepresented in the upper echelons of booming sectors.

Universities and companies could address this by implementing measures to encourage girls and young women to pursue Stem careers - those in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the report noted.

McKinsey noted that women here are least represented in high-growth sectors, with the exception of the finance and insurance industries, where there is almost parity among males and females.

It also calculated a gender parity score for all Asia-Pacific countries using 15 indicators of gender inequality in work and three types of gender equality in society - essential services and enablers of economic opportunity; legal protection and political voice; and physical security and autonomy.

Singapore's score was 0.68, above the Asia Pacific overall at 0.44 and behind the Philippines, which led the region on 0.73.

The report found that Singaporean girls are relatively less interested in Stem careers compared with male counterparts.

For example, only 32 per cent of undergraduates in the National University of Singapore's School of Computing are female.

University policies can be reviewed to encourage women to participate in Stem fields, the report suggested.

Companies can shift internal policies to help women pursue Stem careers even if they do not have a Stem background.

Ms Diaan-Yi Lin, managing partner of McKinsey's Singapore office, suggested using SkillsFuture credits to enrol in Stem-related programmes. - THE STRAITS TIMES