HRD spoke to Camilla de Villiers, managing director, Asia Pacific of HireRight about the way that Singaporean executive teams are changing their approaches to executive women with family responsibilities.
“Pregnancy and motherhood should never be career stoppers” said de Villiers, who has successfully juggled several senior Asia-Pacific leadership roles with motherhood.
“Yes, it’s tough to be a working mum, but I suspect, some dads may say the same thing too. And whilst it’s a challenge sometimes to meet the ever increasing demands at work, it can be done through discipline and managing your time (and the expectations of others around you) effectively” de Villiers said.
Asian workplace culture is evolving, with more progressive workplaces finding ways to accommodate and include working mothers.
“According to the Ministry of Manpower’s Research and Statistics Department, more organisations in Singapore are adopting a plethora of family-friendly practices. Google, Patagonia and Facebook offer on-site childcare centres and comprehensive family insurance provided to employees” she said.
Ambitious HR leaders should be optimistic about the evolving approaches of male-female gender roles in workplaces.
“We’re seeing more firms recognizing the importance of the family unit and the role parenting has to play – it’s becoming less about male-female, father-mother, and more about whether there is sufficient flexibility and infrastructure within the fabric of an organization” said de Villiers.
While many forward-thinking companies have evolved in their attitudes to pregnancy, there is no doubt that the decision to raise a family still has a significant effect on career progression.