Percentage of women board members in Singapore goes up slightly

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It is slow progress but there has been a slight improvement in the level of female representation on the boards of listed firms here.

Women accounted for 10.8 per cent of directorships last year, up from 9.9 per cent in 2016 and 9.5 per cent in 2015.

The proportion of all-male boards also came down slightly - from 55 per cent three years ago to 50 per cent in 2017, according to the Diversity Action Committee yesterday.

The top 100 primary-listed companies led the way, with women making up 13.1 per cent of their boards, up from 10.9 per cent in 2016. This represented the highest increase over the past three years.

Yet Singapore still trailed other countries, with Norway and France both having a female board representation of 42 per cent among listed firms. Britain had 27.6 per cent, Australia 26.1 per cent and the US, 21 per cent.

Within Asia, the levels were lower. Women had a 19.2 per cent share of board seats among the top 100 listed firms in Malaysia.

Hong Kong fared slightly better than Singapore at 13.3 per cent, while China, Japan and South Korea were among the countries with the least diversity.