International Women's Day - Celebrating Women's Achievements in the Workforce
International Women's Day - Celebrating Women's Achievements in the Workforce

Posted on 09 March 2015

gender diversitySingapore's workforceworkplace diversity
Women were always assigned smaller roles in the workforce – if they were even working at all. In America, the evolution of women from home-maker to paid worker started its transition in the early ‘20s, with women initially taking up small roles such as handling of secretarial duties. In spite of the evolution, it will still take decades before women can be finally recognised in all entirety as being equally valuable at work as their male counterparts. Although the gap is closing slowly, women are still earning lesser than men, taking home 77 cents for every $1 a man earned.

But although the current status of gender equality in the workplace leaves much to be desired, we have taken great strides in the right direction. In fact, we have just celebrated International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrate the female worker’s triumph in the workforce. This day first came to birth on 8 March 1909 and, a century later, its date is still marked annually to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women. In Singapore, we are also proud of the fact that the workforce comprises more female top executives than anywhere else in Asia.

And since we have just celebrated International Women’s Day, we thought it’d be timely to take a closer look at some of the female bosses whom we have grown to greatly respect and whose stories are beyond inspirational. Here are some of them:

Olivia Lum
No report on successful female CEOs is ungraced by the mention of Olivia Lum. Hers is a familiar face to all women who are aspiring to be bosses in Singapore. She is the CEO of water treatment company Hyflux, which she started with a mere $20,000 capital and expanded into a multi-million empire.

Marissa Mayer
After holding a string of distinguished posts including that of Vice President of Google Product Search, Mayer was appointed president and CEO of Yahoo! in 2012. While she was there, she implemented various initiatives, including Yahoo!’s maternity leave policy and made sure that employees who are new parents are happy with the cash bonuses from which they benefit.

Named the third most powerful businesswoman by Fortune magazine last year, IndraNooyi has been PepsiCo’s CFO for more than a decade. In her tenure, she took charge of the company’s global strategy and, with her astute business sense, managed the acquisition of various brands including Quaker Oats and Yum! Brands.

Margaret Thatcher
Not for nothing was the late former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1979 to 1990) known as the ‘Iron Lady’. Known for her no-nonsense and dominant style of leadership, she was the only woman to have held office in Great Britain. She once famously said, “In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.” Hear, hear!
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