International Women’s Day 2017

Valuing differences. Driving inclusion

Today, more and more CEOs are focusing on talent diversity and inclusion to help drive innovation in their organisations and create competitive advantages in the marketplace. To help stimulate a broader conversation on gender diversity, we feel it’s vital that organisations focus on providing inclusive opportunities and experiences to attract, develop and retain talent.

Winning the fight for female talent

How to gain the diversity edge through inclusive recruitment

Singapore’s economy is based on knowledge and talent is our main resource. An organisation is only as strong as its people. As the government drives the need for businesses to grow and expand beyond Singapore, companies must become more globally competitive. Having talent with the right skills and deep capabilities will be key to enabling companies to go abroad. For us to play on this international field, Singapore must continue to not only attract the best and brightest from all over the world, but also groom the right talent from within.

An organisation’s people strategy now matters more than ever in attracting and retaining the right talent. It is important that companies remain relevant and meet the increasing demands of prospective employees, but what do people, particularly women look for in a prospective employer and what must companies do to attract and retain female talent?

 Learn more about the report

 Explore global findings 


Recognising the imperative of diversity and inclusion (D&I)

Around eight in 10 employers (78%) surveyed in Singapore have incorporated diversity and inclusion as part of their employer brand, and a similar number (82%) say that their organisation’s recruitment and selection strategy is aligned with their diversity strategy.

Employers’ diversity efforts are beginning to pay off, seeing more engagement with female talent

  • 82% of employers in Singapore (83% globally, 90% in Asia) said that their organisation's organisational recruitment and selection strategy and diversity strategy is aligned
  • 78% of Singapore employers have incorporated diversity and inclusion within their employer brand.
  • Employers in Singapore reflected that the top three ways they have introduced diversity and inclusion practices are ensuring diversity of interview panel/interviewers, training recruitment professionals to focus on driving more inclusive recruitment efforts and managing a diverse candidate pipeline of potential hires.
  • Of the diversity practices employed in their recruitment efforts, only 26% of employers indicated that they have not seen any effects, showing a positive sign that these efforts are paying off.

Employers can do better. Singapore female talent share their employer diversity experience

  • Female talent believe that stereotypes in the recruitment process and concerns over cost and impact of maternity leave are the key barriers. In contrast, employers see it differently citing a lack of sufficient candidate pool as their primary concern.
  • Organisations are not doing enough in addressing/disclosing their diversity equality gaps vis-à-vis what (prospective) employees want.
  • Three in five female respondents in Singapore cited that when deciding to work for an employer, diversity demographics (63%), targets (62%) and gender pay gaps (57%) are important factors, but employers are not disclosing all of this information.
  • Employers are not publically sharing enough information, with 35% sharing diversity demographics, 13% disclosing diversity targets and only 4% disclosing gender pay gaps.

Understanding what “value” is from the employees’ point of view

  • Female talent are looking for better disclosure and transparency in the diversity demographics of an organisation’s workforce and their leadership team, their diversity targets as well as organisational gender pay gap
  • For females in Singapore, top three attractive employer traits are competitive wages and other financial incentives came out top (49%) followed by flexible working arrangements and a culture of work life balance (45%) then career progression (43%).
  • Two in five employees in Singapore (40% of females, 35% of males) would move to another organisation if their current employer does not provide sufficient career progression.
  • When deciding to accept a position with their most recent employer, 53% of respondents in Singapore (54% female, 52% male) did research on whether they have diversity and inclusion policies.

Sharing our stories

Kok Moi Lre

Partner, Assurance – on the value of reimagine the possible

When I joined the firm as a fresh graduate more than 20 years ago, like many graduate new joiners, I never thought I could become a partner, let alone one with four children.

I’m grateful that my mentors opened doors to opportunities that I didn't know existed. For example, I didn't set out to be an accounting specialist but I certainly had more opportunities to value-add after I became one.  I’m also grateful that they trusted me to have the tenacity to push myself to succeed in my profession and in my family.  Their trust and faith were a constant reassurance throughout my journey.

If there’s one piece of advice I’d like to share, it would be - don’t be afraid to try new things. Take a chance and you are likely to be enriched during the process and gain fresh perspectives. Success in both work and family may just become more possible.

Echo Chen

Senior Manager, Assurance – on the value of care

Coaching and mentoring has played a big part in my career at PwC. Having strong mentors who sensed my passion, saw my strengths and brought out the best in me, help me grow professionally and as a coach and mentor.

Throughout my journey, I have had many opportunities to develop and grow – both professionally and personally. A secondment opportunity to PwC Australia under the Australia Graduate Overseas Training Scheme (AGOTS), marked an important time in my career, where I was exposed to a vastly diversified culture and working environment. Despite the distance and time difference, I continued to receive face-to-face coaching sessions with my mentors in Singapore. On my return, I was eager to put my new gained experience to use, so much consideration was put into my client portfolio moving forward.

I was nominated to be the first PwC Experience programme manager where I helped role out initiatives to embed the PwC Experience into the firm’s DNA. I was also seconded to the Global Methodology team working in collaboration with other representatives from other countries to develop the Aura library – an audit software used across the PwC network.

Since July 2015, I am on 50% secondment to the accounting technical team. When working with the engagement teams, I am also sharpening my technical skills, broadening my technical horizons, and making new friends too!

Now, I am lead manager for 2 big engagements and the coordinating manager for a coaching group of over 50 staff members. With my teams and coaching group, I get to share everything I have learnt – both technically and in coaching - to help realise the potential in everyone. It’s about creating an environment where everyone feels included and that you care and value what they bring to the table. But, it requires constant reflection and work to ensure that this inclusive ecosystem continues to thrive.

Mayuri Gupta

Senior Manager, Global Structure Tax – on the value of Act with integrity

“Success doesn’t count unless it is earned fair and square”, a quote from Michelle Obama which resonates with me. At any crossroad, whether professional or personal, we have to exercise sound judgement and act on what is right. In doing so, we are able to gain the trust of our colleagues, clients and those around us to build more meaningful relationships.

Acting with integrity has been a pillar in my professional life at PwC and I cannot see it being any different in my role as a mother. I try to share this important life lesson with my children –speaking up for what is right and building trust in order to reach your goals.

Nivia Soetrisno

Senior Associate, Management Consulting – on the value of working together

At the age of 15, I moved to Singapore from Jakarta to study and upon graduating I began working at PwC. What I enjoy most about living and working here is the diversity of people that I get to interact with.

One of my most memorable job engagements was with a very culturally diverse team - each one of us representing a different nationality. Working together was a challenge in the beginning but as time progressed, we learned to value our differences and understand each other better that helped us to drive better outcomes for our team and our clients.

But, working together despite our differences applies beyond the workplace too. During PwC’s Overseas Community Project (OCP) in Myanmar, our group of diverse volunteers worked closely with PwC Thailand and local youths to lay foundations for a community centre. Working together to overcome the many challenges of the project enabled us to build strong relationships, trust and become closer as a team.

Having a common goal, building trust and relationships within the team is key to working together. Once trust and relationships are built, success naturally follows.

Emma Chapman

Consultant, Marketing and Communications – on the value of making a difference

Being part of a predominantly Singaporean workplace, it's not easy for me to understand when people around me speak in Mandarin, dialect and sometimes even Singlish. My team makes a difference in my day-to-day life by proactively interpreting what is going on when a new word or phrase is used. When I joined, the team started making a list of common Singlish terms which has now evolved to a Singlish calendar where I learn a new word or phrase a day. One of my team mates even interprets songs whenever we're out for karaoke!

These little things made a difference in my life. From the small acts, I felt included and part of the team. Now, I'm inclined to pay-it-forward when others appear lost so that they're not in such a 'jialat' situation. It's a virtuous cycle of making a difference in others' lives that help to create an inclusive place where we all can thrive.


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Contact us

Charlotte Hsu

Asia Pacific Diversity & Inclusion Leader, PwC Singapore

Tel: +65 9650 3866

Rebecca Kershaw

Responsible Business Manager, PwC Singapore

Tel: +65 9625 4597

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