Women in Business Group Update - Q3 2016

The Women in Business Group aims to provide a forum for members of BritCham to promote Women in Business by focusing on three pillars: Performance, Productivity and Policy. Read more about it in their 2016 Q3 update.

By Cecilia Handel, Director of Development at Tanglin Trust School Singapore
 
Chairperson: Dora Lui, Barclays
 
The Women in Business Group aims to provide a forum for members of BritCham to promote Women in Business by focusing on three pillars:  
  • Performance – providing opportunities for personal development and assisting women in expanding their networks;
  • Productivity – promoting the business case for gender diversity, sharing reports, research and best practises as well as increasing male participation in the dialogue driving gender diversity.
  • Policy – identifying opportunities to help bring awareness to best practice policy.
 
Along with driving the public events that focus on these three pillars, the Women in Business Group recently supported a group of Sixth Form students at Tanglin Trust School, a British International School in Singapore, who have been investigating gender bias in Schools.
 
The students started by looking at some of the powerful media messages including adverts such as Always #Likeagirl and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson’s HeForShe speech to the United Nations. Using these as a stimulus the students decided to consider subject selection by gender to see if there was any obvious gender bias. They surveyed students aged 7 – 18 to find out their perceptions of gender bias. They found that the Junior students they interviewed (aged 7 – 11) had little bias and were confident that they could pursue all paths in the future.  Senior school students (aged 11 – 18) however tended to demonstrate more gender awareness, in cases choosing subjects that fell in to stereotypes, although all interviewed felt that they had the confidence and awareness to choose freely. They also reported negative perceptions of feminism and expectations given the influence of social media.    
 
The Sixth formers hosted the Women in Business Group members in a presentation of their project and were subsequently invited to the British High Commission to share the findings.  This led to discussion around at what age point the gender divide occurs, and indeed further stimulus for the Sixth Formers to continue their investigations. 
 
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