Inclusive Workplaces: Calling Out Motherhood Bias

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138 Market Street

Singapore, 048946


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Mothers' Day Special: Are Our Workplaces Inclusive Enough For Mothers?

About this Event

If it is true that Singapore’s greatest asset is its people, why is it that a large number of Singaporean women in their prime are absent from the workforce, especially compared to their male counterparts?

It so happens that the majority of Singaporean women in their prime are mothers as well.

According to the Ministry of Manpower's Labour Force Survey 2018, most of the women in their 30s and 40s who were outside the labour force were not looking for a job because of family responsibilities, with childcare (56.5%) being the most common reason cited.

The lack of childcare options and flexible work arrangements, and the societal attitude of placing the primary parenting role on women have contributed to women dropping out of the workforce.

Another reason for this is something called the "motherhood bias", a form of gender-based discrimination in which employers and colleagues view mothers, or pregnant women, as less competent and less committed to their jobs.

The impact of motherhood bias further exacerbates existing gender disparities and leads to negative outcomes.

In March 2018, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo highlighted in Parliament that comparative to Singaporean men, fewer Singaporean women achieve retirement adequacy in terms of being able to meet their CPF Basic Retirement Sum.

A 2018 report by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) estimates that advancing gender equality could boost Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) by an additional US$20 billion, or 5%, by 2025.

Join us for a panel discussion on May 23rd, as we explore questions such as:

• What kind of recruitment, remuneration and career progression policies can employers put in place to retain Singaporean mothers?

• What needs to change to make it easier for Singaporean mothers to return to work?

• What can mothers do to increase their likelihood of remaining in the workforce?

• What practices have worked for organisations in other countries?

The panel will feature:

• Corinna Lim, Executive Director at AWARE

• Godelieve van Dooren , Partner at Mercer

• Sher-li T, Founder at Mums@Work

• Payal Pisal, Parenthood Committee member at Twitter

• Panel Moderator: Roslina Chai, Managing Director at Catalyse Consulting


AWARE is Singapore’s leading gender equality advocacy group. Since its inception in 1985, AWARE has brought women’s perspectives to national issues and has focused on public education, research and advocacy.

AWARE provides valuable support services to women in the community including the Women’s Helpline and the Sexual Assault Care Centre.

About Mercer

Mercer is a global consulting leader helping clients around the world advance the health, wealth and careers of their most vital asset — their people.

About Mums@Work

Mums@Work is the first career portal in Singapore that supports women to find the perfect balance between family and work.

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138 Market Street

Singapore, 048946


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