APAC leads the way in creating workplace gender diversity

While most CEOs appointed between 2022 and 2023 are male, more organisations have turned to female leaders, particularly in the APAC region.
By: | March 1, 2024
Topics: DE&I | Leadership | News

While there is clearly scope improvement when it comes to improving gender diversity in the workplace, the APAC region is continuing to lead the way when it comes to providing more opportunities for women. Between 2022 and 2023, of the 225 CEO appointments that were made in the region, 12% were female, according to Heidrick & Struggles’ 2023 Route to the Top study.

This is higher than the global average of 8%, with Australia and New Zealand seeing the highest percentage of female CEO appointments (15%). Also ranking above the APAC ranking was Singapore, which maintained its previous year’s figure, with 13% of appointed female CEOs.

Organisations are also increasingly recognising the value of CEOs who bring a wealth of cross-sector expertise and regional exposure to their roles. In Singapore, 47% of appointed CEOs have cross-border experience, which is the highest ratio in APAC markets and exceeding the global average of 34%.

Organisations in Singapore are also more likely to nurture internal talent, boosting the highest share of internal appointments (77%) compared to the region (65%) and globally (63%). Experience is also a tick for organisations in Singapore, with the current age of appointed CEOs being the highest across APAC at 57.2 years.

READ MORE: Promoting workplace diversity and fairness in Singapore

Wu Jiat Hui, Partner-in-charge at Heidrick & Struggles Singapore, said, “Organisations are strategically identifying experienced leaders with diverse backgrounds and cross-border experience, recognising their ability to navigate complexities across multiple geographies and drive innovation across various business lines. The cross-border experience is increasingly important as Singapore companies look to expand beyond their home market.”