The IPS survey, titled “Survey on Singapore workforce’s preparedness for the future of work, their work aspirations and perceptions of social mobility” was conducted in October 2022. The survey aims to learn how Singaporeans are likely to fare in jobs of tomorrow. The survey polled 1,010 working Singaporeans aged between 21 and 84.
Women are lacking confidence or are they held back?
Based on the survey, 65 per cent of women are confident in their ability to solve problems creatively compared to 79 per cent of men.
And a shocking 37 per cent of women ensure their work is credited to them compared to 42 per cent of men.
Dr Laurel Teo, a senior research fellow at IPS and a co-author of the study said, “It does not mean that women are less creative, these results do not in any way point to actual ability.”
Are women holding back because of caregiving responsibilities at home?
Ms Yeo Wan Ling, Director of NTUC U Women and Family, shared at this year’s IPS annual Singapore Perspective Conference that there are 260,000 women of economic age who are not in the workforce because of caregiving responsibilities.
Ms Yeo shared that women have anxieties about their ability to manage work and caregiving commitments.
Existing policies encourage employers to offer Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) to ensure such workplace support becomes the norm for all workers. Part-time work, flexi-time, and job-sharing are some work arrangements that offer flexibility for working moms.
How else can women be empowered to perform and be confident of their abilities? Let’s look at the skills they need for the future of work.
Skills in demand for the future of work?
Honing critical core skills will prepare workers to tackle the future of the labour environment. These foundational skills are transferable across careers and industries, furthermore, employers value these skills as it helps businesses remain competitive.
In a SkillsFuture Singapore report published in November 2022, the top three most essential skills identified were self-management, creative thinking, and influence.
- Self-management is the ability to control your thoughts, feelings, and action(s). Having strong self-management skills means you’re able to set goals independently and take the initiative to achieve them.
Examples of self-management skills: Organization, goal setting, time management, self-motivation, stress management, adaptability, and accountability.
- Creative thinking is the ability to develop innovative solutions to solve problems. It isn’t just about the number of ideas; the key is to come up with a variety of solutions. After the brainstorming stage, the ideas will be examined from different perspectives and go through tests.
Here are some examples of how creative thinking can be applied at work:
– Evaluating current processes and identifying how they can be improved to increase efficiency
– Research new ways to market a product
– Developing a new way to reach out to prospective clients
- Influencing skills is the ability to invite others to change their behaviour, attitudes, thoughts and ways to accommodate your demands. This skill is essential for leaders to motivate their teams.
Common skills that contribute to being influential: Active listening, assertiveness, awareness, communication, empathy, intuition, endurance and leadership.
As companies accommodate women through their caregiving phase with FWA, let’s hope that women will not have to hold back their careers and continue to develop their professional development and gain more confidence.
Editing is my work.