Women in Technology – What can we learn from the 2022 Singapore Best Workplaces in Technology?

Evelyn Kwek

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PAMELA SNG

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EVELYN KWEK AND PAMELA SNG

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Singapore has been ranked the #1 leading technology innovation hub outside of Silicon Valley, ahead of cities like New York City, Beijing and London for the second year running. It is one of the most wired countries and technologically advanced Information and Communications Technology markets in the world; and in June 2022, wireless broadband penetration rate was 201.3% while mobile penetration reached 163.5%.

As a high-growth industry, tech jobs continue to be in high demand and the number of tech professionals in Singapore has grown to more than 200,000 today, with the number of tech jobs increasing by about 10,000 annually in the last three years.

Research has shown that gender diversity can make companies more innovative and agile and improve their financial performance; in fact, companies with more diverse leadership teams report higher innovation revenue than those with below average diversity.

While initiatives such as SG Women In Tech have led to the increasing awareness of gender-diversity, only 58% of women who graduate with STEM degrees or diplomas go on to have related careers, as compared with 70% of men. In Singapore, women comprise 41% of the tech workforce, and while this is higher than the global average of 28%, more can be done to attract, retain and develop female talent to enable them to maximize their full potential.

31 October 2022 marked our second year recognizing companies on the Singapore Best Workplaces™ in Technology list. Among our list makers, many were intentional in cultivating gender-diversity within their workforce, formalizing and embedding gender-inclusive policies and programs into their talent management strategy.

Here are five tips from our list makers this year:

1. Start off on the right foot

At Adobe Singapore, recruitment practices intentionally mitigate bias. Adobe sources talent from a wide variety of partners and institutions to broaden its reach, partners organizations such as Ladies Who Tech and leverages Textio to ensure that all job descriptions are inclusive.

As part of its commitment to creating diversity in its workforce, it provides bi-annual updates to employees about the workforce demographic makeup, including gender mix and generation distribution. This information is accessible by all employees via its intranet, so that staff can monitor the D&I progress and keep the organization accountable.

2. Consider the path less trodden

Thoughtworks Singapore proactively invests in hiring and developing women technologists who may not have a computer science background. For example, in September to November 2021, it collaborated with Generation Singapore to run a three-month program to train seven mature employees undergoing mid-career switches to become Thoughtworks software developers.

Recognizing the importance of developing a pipeline of talent, it also actively partners with university student groups that seek to promote gender diversity in tech. For example, three Thoughtworkers were mentors at SheHACKS, an annual all-girls hackathon organized by Girls in Tech at United World College South East Asia (UWCSEA) to empower women and encourage younger girls to participate in the field of STEM.

3. Give a boost to bridge the gap

At CrowdStrike Singapore, raising women’s participation in the tech workforce is a concerted effort across its offices around the world. Women employees are part of a dedicated global Employee Resource Group that connects via Slack to share work and life experiences, provide support and advice, and leverage the company’s global initiatives.

The Falcon Rising New Parents program developed by the Learning & Development team is targeted towards new mothers to support their transition returning to the workforce after parental leave. Each participant, regardless of role or seniority, is paired with an external coach based on their leadership style. The coach serves as an accountability partner and guides the participant in the development of skills that matter the most, like improving communication and navigating through work-life challenges as a new parent.

More programs are targeted at other groups of women professionals, and male colleagues are invited to participate in these initiatives. CrowdStrike is committed to provide an environment where women are empowered and supported holistically without a need for an occasion.

4. Intentionally build the rungs of the ladder

Cisco aims to develop world-class, next-generation women leaders, accelerate closure of the gender gap in leadership, and develop and retain female talent. Its JUMP programme is targeted at mid-level high-potential female employees to provide the knowledge and range of skills on everything from building gravitas to learning to take risks. Using a variety of assessment tools, networking activities, self-reflection exercises and unique interactive theatre activities, it enables them to strengthen their skills in strategic thinking, inclusive leadership and career planning to reach their goals.

This, and other efforts, have contributed to a rise in women vice presidents and membership on its executive leadership team.

5. Put the best people up for promotion

Based on insights from its internal employee survey, Salesforce updated its Promotion Guide and conducted training to ensure that all its people leaders were aligned around the five criteria that must be met for an employee to be considered for a promotion. These criteria define business demand and promotion readiness to ensure every leader and employee has a clear understanding of what it takes to get promoted.

To ensure objectivity (so that the decision is not reliant on one person’s opinion alone) it refreshed its stakeholder feedback process to be clearer regarding who should provide input and what criteria they are evaluating. Equality dashboards were also built so each functional leader and their Employee Success Business Partners have visibility into the nomination distribution of women and under-represented minorities to ensure promotions are fair and equitable across each leader’s business.

Our list makers have created a workplace culture that genuinely embraces gender-diversity, and where policies, processes and programs enable women to thrive in a traditionally male-dominated industry. Leaders at every level consistently behave in a way that cultivate and reinforce this environment, and the organization is able to leverage the value of cognitive diversity, varying experiences and perspectives.

To find out who made this year’s Technology List, click here.

 

Great Place To Work launches the Growing in Tech (GRIT) Mentorship Program for Women in Tech

Great Place To Work® believes that technology is the primary catalyst for change in the world, and that equal representation of women in this sector is critical. Female voices and perspectives are needed to solve today’s complex issues, yet not all women executives in the tech sector have access to the resources, mentorship and culture that women executives in Best Workplaces enjoy.

It is with this impetus that we launched GRIT on October 31 at the Singapore Best Workplaces™ in Technology event, held at Cisco. To date, we have a total of 19 female mentors from Cisco, Adobe, Thoughtworks, CrowdStrike and Salesforce who have committed to this year-long program.

GRIT aims to pair experienced women executives in varied roles from among the Singapore Best Workplaces in Technology to mentor other women executives in companies aspiring to be Certified™. These mentors will connect and mentor interested mentees over a one year period to share experiences, broaden mentees’ network and support them in growing their careers in the Tech space.

GRIT mentor Ms Cecily Ng, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Salesforce Singapore and Taiwan shared: “I’ve had the fortune of being mentored by many other great leaders who have expanded my networks, helped me make decisions and sometimes are just there to listen.” With more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry, Cecily hopes to extend her passion for mentoring. “My mentees are often my source of inspiration and they give me new perspectives. There is an incredible sense of pride and fulfilment when I see my mentees grow in their careers.”

To find out more about the GRIT Mentorship Program or to apply to be a mentee, click here.

Evelyn Kwek

Evelyn is the Managing Director for Great Place to Work®️ in ASEAN and ANZ. Heading the expansion of Great Place to Work®️ offices in ASEAN, Evelyn is convinced that just as the region is growing exponentially on the economic front, the work of building great workplaces For All™ must go in tandem with economic growth.

A proud mother of 3, Evelyn takes parenting very seriously – she is strict yet giving, result-focused yet generous. Together with husband Roland, they relish exploring new cultures and beautiful places of the world, usually on leisurely self-drive holidays, before the days of Covid.

PAMELA SNG

Pamela is our Senior Consultant and Research Lead for Great Place to Work® ASEAN and ANZ. She has over two decades of consulting and policy experience helping organizations in their journey to become fair and progressive employers. She believes that every organization has the potential to be a great workplace, and works with data to distil insights and develop resources to help them. When she’s not burrowing down the rabbit hole of numbers and words, she’s probably immersed in a new K-drama or catching up with friends over a virtual drinks session.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying over 1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting over 4.7 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2021 or early 2022.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

This year, Great Place To Work® Singapore is proud to launch our inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces™ in Healthcare & Biopharma List. This list recognizes exemplary companies in the healthcare & biopharma industry.

Recognized as a global hub for medical technology and research, Singapore has attracted top healthcare and biopharma talents and companies from around the world. It has become the center for essential healthcare services and innovations with its world-class research institutes, academic medical centers, and industry clusters.

In turn, the healthcare and biopharma sectors play a critical role in the country’s economic competitiveness, sustainability, and innovation. These industries have significantly helped in the overall improvement of public health and well-being of the people of Singapore and its neighboring countries.

The inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces in Healthcare and Biopharma List puts the spotlight on the organizations that are dedicated to providing employee satisfaction and engagement, and their commitment to excellence in the industry.

The companies in our Great Place To Work Certified™ community have the premier distinction that helps attract the best talent, build your employer brand, and secure a competitive advantage. To achieve this, they built a working environment that is purpose-driven and people-first. These companies have demonstrated that showing authentic care, prioritizing employee’s holistic well-being, and building a culture of trust go hand in hand with growth and success.

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Healthcare and Biopharma, Great Place to Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore.Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place to Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place to Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry.The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced.To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place to Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place to Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry. The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category.

Methodology

This year, Great Place To Work™ Singapore is proud to launch our inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces in Technology List. This List recognizes exemplary companies in the information and communication technologies industry in four categories:

  • Micro category (10–29 employees)
  • Small (30-99 employees)
  • Medium (100-999 employees)
  • Large (> 1000 employees)

With Singapore’s ambition to be recognized as a regional technology hub, the influx of technology firms (around 80 of the world’s top 100 technology firms have a presence here) and global rankings that place us a leading technology hub outside of San Francisco, the establishment of a Singapore Best Workplaces List in Technology is indeed a timely and needed one. Technology firms in Singapore are characterized by hyper-growth and ambitious expansion plans. This means a continuous war for talent in a highly competitive and rapidly evolving industry.

To maintain our lead as a technology and innovation hub, the ability to attract, retain and sustain skilled talent is critical. We are proud that companies in our Great Place To Work®-Certified community List have built a high-trust culture, engaged employees and maximized their potential to facilitate innovation. They are purpose-driven and adopt a people-first mindset. These are companies that have shown that authentic care and employee well-being need not be compromised for ambitious growth, and that it is possible for businesses to scale up quickly and responsibly. Their culture and core values are embodied in every individual—from senior leadership to rank-and-file employees—and differentiate them from their competitors, priming them to be powerful magnets for top talent.

To determine the 2022 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore.Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry.The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category

 

Methodology

To determine the 2022 Singapore’s Best Workplaces™️, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing close to 70,000 employees across different industries in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place to Work For All™️. 85% of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do.

Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry. The remaining 15% of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry. The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category