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Authors: LEE PUI YEE
Issue Date: 1992
Citation: LEE PUI YEE (1992). WOMEN IN THE SINGAPORE WORKFORCE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Manpower is Singapore's most precious resource. With the slow down in population gron1h, the economy will need all its human resources, including the female component, to sustain further economic growth. Over the past two decades, women in Singapore have played an increasing role in the economy, with higher female labour force participation rates observed across age groups, marital status, educational qualifications and ethnic groups. This has been facilitated by economic development, modernisation and the changing social fabric of Singapore. Increasingly, the potential supply of workers from middle-aged women re-entering the economy cannot be ignored. The gradual emergence of a hi-modal pattern of age-specific participation is a promising development which can serve as a counteracting force to the projected decline in the size of the female workforce. In terms of employment opportunities, women continue to be under-represented in many professions despite the removal of formal barriers. For those who succeeded in scaling up the occupational ladder, they are largely concentrated in either the 'peripheral' professions or in areas which are associated with 'feminine' roles. Nevertheless, progress has been made and further enhancement in the quality of jobs undertaken by women is likely in view of the greater degree of human capital investment by females. Earnings differential in Singapore serves as a poor approximation of sex discrimination. The gap can largely be accounted for by differing productivity-enhancing factors between the two sexes. In addition, the increasing proliferation of female part-time employment tends to further aggravate the gap. However, the impetus for a greater and more equal participatory role of women remains hindered by less visible barriers. Nevertheless, the recognition of the potential contribution of women has led to the revision of several policies which reflect gender bias. Together with changing social attitudes, further improvements in the status of working women are expected. By and large, it is found that the status, roles and achievements of women in Singapore have improved tremendously over the years. However, it is concluded that Singapore women still have a long way to go before realising their potential and contribution to the fullest.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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