More workplace support for older women in Singapore called for

Older female employees in Singapore face stereotypes and career hurdles, as well as retirement and caregiving challenges, says a women’s group.
By: | May 12, 2023

Older female employees in Singapore are facing a range of challenges relating to caregiving, workplaces, and retirement and need more support to overcome them, said the Singapore Alliance for Women in Ageing (Sawa).

A group focused on the care of older women, Sawa recently released a new report that highlighted the concerns of 170 women who participated in a survey between July 2022 and February 2023. Among the issues highlighted were caregiving responsibilities that impede retirement plans, as well as ageism and stereotypes in the workplace.

According to participants, older women in Singapore face employer stereotypes that often portray them as less productive and adaptable than their younger colleagues. Additionally, older women may need to take leave from work to attend medical appointments or treatments, which can be viewed negatively by employers and affect their career advancement opportunities.

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Retirement is also a significant concern for older women in Singapore. The report pointed out that more older women will eventually end up in the “sandwiched class” of those simultaneously caring for children below 12 years old and family members aged 65 and above. Many women in this situation reduce their work hours or leave their jobs entirely, thus affecting their income.

Sawa urged for stronger protection for re-employed employees in terms of pay and workplace practices, as well as support for older women employees juggling domestic obligations and workplace responsibilities, reported The Straits Times.