The Singapore government published a White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development which outlined 25 measures to build a fairer and more inclusive society for men and women in workplaces and at home, as reported by Strait Times on March 28. The white paper suggests that the government should draw up guidelines requiring employers to consider staff requests for flexible work arrangements (FWAs) fairly and properly. In addition, the white paper called on employers to strengthen fairness in the workplace for women, offer them the choice to undergo elective egg freezing, and encourage them to make better use of parental leave entitlements.
Enabling FWAs can create a win-win situation for both employers and employees, according to Minister of State for Manpower, Gan Siow Huang. It is because working from home will allow those with caregiving responsibilities to continue working or return to work, while employers can also enjoy a wider talent pool. To improve the working environment for women, the government will launch career mentorship, networking opportunities, and training programs for working women and those seeking to return to work. Moreover, the white paper noted that the Singapore Exchange [SGX:SP] had revised its listing rules and Practice Guidance to the Code of Corporate Governance, in a move to support greater board diversity, gender diversity included.