Monster.com's latest campaign,#SheMakesItWork, aims to spotlight the contribution working mothers make both at home and in the workplace across Southeast Asia. When women were asked via survey what their main career motivators were, the answers revealed that personal fulfillment and passion emerged on top with 37.5%, followed closely by contribution to household income (37.32%), with the third and fourth reasons being supporting their family as the sole earner (15.49%) and trying to reach the top of their field (9.69%).
So while a good salary pays the bills, modern-day women are highly motivated workers because jobs are perceived as an extension of their identity and is a critical component closely tied to their professional goals and/or personal aspirations.
For companies hoping to attract, hire and retain top female talent, here are four key considerations:
Equal salaryAccording to statistics from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), pay gaps in 2017 were mostly skewed in favour of men. For instance, the median salary for men and women across various occupations tallied up to $3,988 and $3,500 respectively. Even in jobs where women were paid more, the gaps were much smaller. In Singapore, where the values of meritocracy are espoused, equal pay for equal work should already be a given and employers should make it a point to pay workers in the same position equally, regardless of gender.
Flexible work arrangementsFlexible work arrangements are increasingly adopted by employers in a bid to retain talented female employees even after they take on their new roles as working mothers, who often struggle to achieve a good balance between family and career. Starting from July 2018, Singapore-based employers will receive greater financial support from the government through an extended and enhanced Work-Life Grant, which is now easier to apply for and provides more support per employee.
Transparency in career advancement opportunitiesDiscrimination is still an issue faced by women in the workplace, especially in jobs that are traditionally dominated by men. The stigma that a woman cannot carry out the work as well as their male counterpart is pervasive and often cripples the career advancement opportunities of highly capable women. Transparency is key when it comes to the criteria for career progression, providing a clear framework for both men and women on what qualifies them for a promotion.
Female role modelsKnowing that women are represented in the company's leadership speaks volumes about a company's employment practices. If other women are thriving at a workplace, it will form an impression that all capable women will stand to succeed in the organisation should they put in the hard work. Role models in the workplace need not always be career-centric; company-supported groups for working mothers will also provide a safe space for them to exchange tips on how to better manage family and work.