Women Leading from the Front


According to last year’s Deloitte report, Singapore has the highest percentage of women CEOs in the world. This report follows up on the Forbes esteemed 2021 Asia’s Power Businesswomen list, where three of the 20 female CEOs named are Singaporeans. Isn’t it impressive for a tiny country that has one of the smallest populations in Asia? But on a larger note, the country lags behind other Southeast Asian countries on boardroom representation. For instance, the number of women chief financial officers (CFOs) had dropped to 33.7 percent in 2021 from 35.3 percent in 2018.

However, as per a 2023 report, the proportion of women in senior management spiked to 39 percent, based on a three-year moving average, a simple average of the current year and the last two years' results.

The country is all set to improve these numbers even more, and the contribution toward this from the private sector is commendable. Recently, Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, and United Women Singapore (UWS), a non-profit organization dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment in Singapore, joined hands to launch the Alibaba Cloud’s first-ever collaboration for their inaugural ‘RiseHERs in Cloud’ program.

This program is a unique initiative to nurture a new generation of female leaders in Singapore’s technology sector. The two organizations have set a target of producing nearly 1,000 talented young women with robust academic training and practical expertise within the next five years to prepare them for impactful careers in technology. As the Singaporean economy thrives, it’s an ideal place for women to color their entrepreneurial dreams.

We dedicate this yearly special issue to women business leaders in the city-state.

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