“Getting to Equal 2018” report identifies 40 key factors that help all people thrive

SINGAPORE; March 7, 2018 – New research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has identified 40 workplace factors that create a culture of equality—including 14 factors that matter the most. The research, published today in the company’s “Getting to Equal 2018” report, details the most-effective actions that business leaders can take to accelerate advancement and help close the gender pay gap.

The research is based on a survey of more than 22,000 working men and women in 34 countries—including more than 700 in Singapore—to measure their perception of factors that contribute to their workplace cultures. The survey was supplemented with in-depth interviews and a detailed analysis of published data on a range of workforce issues.

“Our research shows that in companies with cultures that include the workplace factors that help women advance, men thrive too, and we all rise together,” said Teo Lay Lim, senior managing director, ASEAN country managing director, Singapore Accenture. “We see this research as a powerful reminder that building a culture of equality is essential to achieving gender equality because people, not programs, are what make a company inclusive and diverse.”

Accenture’s research found that for Singapore, in companies where the 40 factors are most common, everyone benefits:

  • 97 percent of employees are satisfied with their career progression
  • 96 percent of employees aspire to get promoted
  • 97 percent aspire to become senior leaders in their organizations

And, everyone has a better opportunity to advance:

  • Women are 55 percent more likely to advance to manager or above
  • Men are 31 percent more likely to advance to manager or above

While both women and men advance in companies in which the 40 factors are common, women have the most to gain. If all working environments in Singapore. were like those in which the 40 factors are most common:

  • For every 100 male managers, there could be as many as 90 female managers, up from the current ratio of 100 to 54.
  • Women’s annual pay could increase 16 percent, or up to an additional USD $52,090 per year
  • Women could earn US$95 for every US$100 a man earns.

Setting clear diversity targets, the research found, is a crucial step for leaders who want to strengthen their cultures.

“Culture is set from the top, so if women are to advance, gender equality must be a strategic priority for the C-suite,” said Ellyn Shook, Accenture’s chief leadership & human resources officer. “It’s critical that companies create a truly human environment where people can be successful both professionally and personally – where they can be who they are and feel they belong, every day.”

The report, which builds on Accenture’s 2017 research on how digital fluency and technology can close the gender gap in the workplace, grouped the 14 core factors proven to influence advancement into three categories of bold leadership, comprehensive action and an empowering environment. Key Singapore findings in the three categories include:

  • Bold leadership: Women are almost twice as likely to be on the fast track in organizations where there is at least one female senior leader (20 percent compared to 11 percent in organizations where the leadership was all men).
  • Comprehensive action: Involvement in a women’s network correlates with women’s advancement, but 56% of the women surveyed for the report work for organizations without such a network. In companies that have a women’s network, 40% participate, with around one-third (33%) of those women in a women’s network that also includes men.
  • An empowering environment: Among the factors linked to advancement are not asking employees to conform to a dress or appearance code, and giving employees the responsibility and freedom to be innovative and creative.


As part of its “Getting to Equal 2018” research, Accenture surveyed more than 22,000 working men and women with a university education in 34 countries—including 725 working men and women in Singapore—to understand what it will take to create a workplace culture in which women and men have equal opportunities for advancement and pay. The survey was supplemented by in-depth interviews with “fast-track women”—i.e., women who have moved further and faster through their organizations than other women—to add to the understanding of the issues. Accenture also analyzed published data related to a range of workforce issues, including labor force, progression, talent gaps, culture at work, sexual harassment, company gender by level and company best practice. Combining the findings of the survey and of the desk research, Accenture developed an econometric model to establish which factors make the most difference to a women’s chances of advancing. The model has been used to explore a series of ‘what if’ questions to understand the implications in terms of advancement and pay gap reduction if the changes suggested are implemented.


Nicolette Pillay
+65 96172934

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