Deloitte Singapore Launches Board-ready Women Program

December 13, 20162:50 am654 views

The Deloitte Board-ready Women Program, an initiative led by the Deloitte Center for Corporate Governance was launched in Singapore recently. This program aims to encourage more female representation in corporate boardrooms and it does so by preparing talented women executives for board service, and laying the ground work for future placements on public and private company boards of directors.

The first of the three-part program kick-started on December 5, and was attended by more than 20 senior women executives. Ms Jessica Tan, Managing Director of Microsoft Singapore and Member of Parliament East Coast Group Representative Constituency was a special guest speaker at the inaugural session.

Speaking to a roomful of accomplished women executives, Ms Tan highlighted the need to make a conscious decision in every role that is undertaken. She shared, “It’s important for women to celebrate our successes and inspire each other to strive to achieve more – both in the organization that you belong to and more importantly to society.”

“It is not about one role being more important than the other, it is about making a conscious effort to be clear about the various roles that you play, the expectations and what you need to do to fulfil them because with that, it will give you the ability to prioritise.”

Ms Tan also stressed the importance of expanding one’s network to build upon one’s qualifications, “I commend Deloitte for taking this first step in giving women a platform to engage and be mentored, and sponsored. A lot of organisations value diversity, but women need to take the step out to network and be able to talk about themselves to share their expertise so that the community can then be aware, that there are capable women leaders who are ready to take on board for leadership roles.”

The next session will be held in March 2017 and the final session is scheduled in April 2017. The topics covered in the program include areas on corporate governance, audit committee oversight, risk and strategy, legal, and perspective as an independent director.

Seah Gek Choo, Singapore Co-Leader for the Deloitte Center for Corporate Governance and Chairwoman of this local program said, “Much of women’s abilities to reach our career and leadership goals lie within ourselves and so we need to remove the self-imposed career blocks and propel ourselves to seize opportunities in leadership roles,” explained Ms Seah.

As markets become more sophisticated and expectations rise for boards to include directors with different backgrounds and expertise, diversity has become nothing less than a business value.

Recognising that boards today require diversity of thought and background in order to continue to make good decisions and to provide strong oversight of management, Dr Ernest Kan, Southeast Asia Leader for the Deloitte Center for Corporate Governance commented, “Not only does Deloitte actively advocate in favour of boardroom diversity to governments and policy makers, we have introduced new programs for our clients and others to prepare women leaders for board service and create networking platforms for women to be recognized for board placements.”


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