SINGAPORE'S top companies lag behind those in the region when it comes to female representation on their boards, according to a study on board diversity in the Asia-Pacific.
Released on Monday, the results of the study showed that only 6.4 per cent of the directors among the 100 largest home-grown companies in Singapore were women. This compared to 11.2 per cent in Australia, 8.5 per cent in Hong Kong, 7.7 per cent in Malaysia and 7.5 per cent in New Zealand.
India, the only other Asia-Pacific economy studied, fared the worst, with just 4.7 per cent of female directors.
Although no direct comparisons are available, United States-based non-profit group Catalyst reported that 15.7 per cent of the board seats in Fortune 500 companies were held by women last year.
The study, conducted in December by executive search firm Korn/Ferry International, was led by Associate Professor Mak Yuen Teen of the National University of Singapore Business School. It covered the largest 100 domestic companies by market capitalisation in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore.
In total, 4,630 directors holding a total of 5,335 directorships were studied.