Job Hunting In Singapore: The Ideal Location For Women?

If you’re male, the opportunity to move to a new country and instantly enter the job market is fairly simple – you just apply for a visa, hop aboard a plane and see where your new adventure takes you.

But try the same thing as a woman and your troubles getting started will be far greater. The idea of a woman’s place in society can shift dramatically from country to country, especially in the world of employment, and the likelihood of encountering sexism in the workplace is, even in the 21st century, still high.

Yet in Singapore, the island city-state famed for its wealth, the government has been reaching out to female workers and trying to make a difference in their lives.

The city-state has one of the highest female employment participation rates in Asia, with almost 60 per cent of women in the job market, higher than Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan.

So what is Singapore getting right that other Asian countries can’t figure out?

The childcare conundrum

In even the most developed countries, employers still grapple with how best to cope with maternity leave. For a certain amount of time, you’ll have to do without your brightest employee and track down a suitable replacement.

But Singapore, in comparison with the other Asian Tigers, has given more flexibility to its female workers to help with the inevitable employment gap of childcare.

John Henderson, Regus APAC Regional Director, said, “There is a strong case for the greater inclusion of returning mothers in the workforce: increased GDP, sustained growth, bridging the skills gap and fighting poverty are just some of the benefits.”

The cultural shift

In one report on the lack of women in the Asian workforce, Simon Ogus blamed, “traditional, chauvinistic cultural attitudes”. It’s a sad fact, but in large portions of society, women simply aren’t welcome.

Singapore, however, suffers from this mire of tradition far less. It could be because the rapid modernisation of the city has left equally modern attitudes in its wake, or that the heavily westernised region has taken on more progressive attitudes from its melting pot culture.

Whatever the reason, breaking into the employment market as a woman can be a cinch with the right attitude – no matter what gender you are.

The recruitment drive

The variety of recruitment options on offer in Singapore is vast, especially with the ministry of manpower’s increased focus on improving the job market for expats and locals alike.

However, there are also a number of recruitment agencies dedicated to helping you find a job, as well as giving you the lowdown on Singapore’s employment market and the best ways to ace an interview.

Provided you have the right visa and local know how, finding a job in Singapore can be a cinch – so hopping on that plane and starting afresh won’t be so difficult after all.

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.