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SIA, Singtel among top 100 companies in Refinitiv's 2020 diversity index

SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) and Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) have been recognised among the top 100 most diverse and inclusive organisations globally, according to Refinitiv's 2020 Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Index.

They were among 21 Asia-Pacific (Apac) companies that made it to Top 100 D&I Index this year, Refinitiv said in a press statement on Thursday.

The index scores companies across four main pillars - diversity, inclusion, people development and controversies.

SIA came in at 31st place with an overall score of 73.25, while Singtel was ranked 35th with an overall score of 73.

Vernice Moh, managing director of Asean at Refinitiv, noted that six Asean companies from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand earned a place in this year's index.

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Refinitiv's data showed that Malaysia and Singapore have seen an 89 per cent and 88 per cent rise in board gender diversity respectively over the last five years, which are among the largest increases in proportion of women on boards globally.

"While there is still room for South-east Asian countries to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce relative to global and regional peers, transparent reporting of D&I data and targets will enable Asean companies to share best practices and further the region's progress in the years to come," added Ms Moh.

Within the Apac region, the average board is made up of 12 per cent female members, representing a 53 per cent increase over the last five years, the report showed. But this is still behind the global average of 19 per cent of female board members.

Alfred Lee, Refinitiv's managing director for Apac, said there has been "encouraging progress" among Apac firms in their efforts to increase workplace diversity and inclusiveness.

In particular, the number of companies with an official flexible working policy has increased by 78 per cent in Apac and 54 per cent globally over the last five years.

"With investors and businesses paying more attention to D&I practices and disclosures in the region, we are confident that more Apac organisations will be taking the lead in embedding diversity and inclusion into their business strategy," added Mr Lee.

Industries leading this year's D&I Index include banking, investment and insurance companies, followed by pharmaceuticals and telecommunication services.

By geography, the US tops the list with 20 companies, followed by the UK with 13 and Australia with nine. Globally, the cultural diversity of board members has increased from five years ago, though this has stalled at around 30 per cent, Refinitiv said.

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