On 3 February 2023, The International Women’s Forum South Africa paid SCWO a second visit with a new cohort of women leaders as part of their Women in Leadership Programme’s Immersion Trip, led by Duke Corporation Education.
They first visited SCWO in October 2022.
CEO Koh Yan Ping provided a rundown of milestones achieved over the recent years – such as Conversations on Singapore Women’s Development Report held throughout 2020, which in turn produced SCWO’s report released in 2021, and the government’s White Paper that followed in 2022.
An open discussion on SCWO was moderated by President Junie Foo, who explained the relationship between non-profit organisations (NPOs) and ministry agencies in Singapore, and how they work with community partners and other relevant stakeholders to protect and empower Singapore women.
As leaders of their organisations, participants were interested in how SCWO encourages women to be on boards.
Georgette Tan – SCWO board member and Chairperson of SCWO’s BoardAgender – shared how the initiative came to be and how it helped Singapore women leaders be board-ready. More importantly, it was instrumental to the mentees of BoardAgender’s process of learning more about themselves and rediscovering their passions.
The participants highlighted that the key ingredients for women to be able to be board members are visibility and networking, on top of being in the right place and at the right time, which is also what BoardAgender provides.
They hope to see a similar framework set in place in South Africa so more women who are capable and want to serve on boards can be offered the opportunity and resources to do so.
The discussion ended with how women should not have to choose between their caregiver roles and their occupational aspirations.
A caregiver role should not be an obstacle to women’s career progressions, especially when representation in leadership and workplaces is crucial to women’s development in Singapore and South Africa.
SCWO wishes IWFSA and its women leaders the best in their cause of gender equality in Singapore and looks forward to working with the organisation in future collaborations to educate and empower more women and girls.