One of the reasons Singtel is a leading employer

HRD talks to Singtel’s CHRO about one HR strategy that ensures the company can build up and retains its competitive advantage

One of the reasons Singtel is a leading employer
Telecommunication giant, Singtel, is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of Singapore when it comes to diversity in the c-suite and top levels of management. This year alone, the company snatched up the Board Diversity Award, the World's Most Ethical Companies award, and the Women Who Make a Difference Award.
 
As of the end of October, Singtel’s board consisted of 33 per cent women. This is much higher than the average percentage of female board members on Singapore-listed companies – a number which rests around nine per cent according to statistics from the Diversity Action Committee released in September.
 
Singtel also boasts 30 per cent females in senior management and 38 per cent females in its overall workforce.
 
HRD talked to Aileen Tan, group chief human resources officer at Singtel, to find out more about how the company had reached this level of diversity and what the results were like.
 
“As a leading employer, Singtel has long encouraged an inclusive and collaborative workplace and culture. We believe that diversity is essential to building and sustaining a competitive advantage,” Tan said.
 
She told HRD of the company’s family-friendly environment which worked hard to accommodate employee needs outside of work.
 
“[Staff] can work from home and take flexi leave to bring their children to school or their parents to the doctors,” she said.
 
These efforts bring plenty of rewards with Tan saying Singtel’s HR push towards a greater work/life balance have encouraged more women to return to work after setting up their families.
 
With a greater variety of employees both on the board and in senior management, Singtel can draw upon a wider pool of ideas and opinions in order to expand its business, she said.
 
“We have also seen better execution of strategies as we are able to draw upon a diverse collection of skills and experiences. This is especially important for a global company like ours.”
 
Related stories:
 
90% of firms ignore female board member possibilities
 
More women needed on Singapore boards, says minister
 
Singapore boards falling behind on gender equity

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