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Making Space for Women in Business

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Last June, I had the privilege of attending my first Cannes Lions 2018 which was four days of early starts, late nights and a lot of rosé. Among the yacht meandering, networking and parties on the French Riviera, there was a hot topic of conversation in Cannes; women and equality, not to mention the #MeToo campaign.

How timely and brilliant I thought to see agendas on the Croisette of female panellists, from EVP’s to CMO’s discuss ‘Women Rising: How to Breakthrough in Male-Dominated Industries’, ‘Equal Currency: Why Financial Empowerment Matters’ and ‘The Elephant in the Room” Relationships Between Women and Men at Work’

What was very interesting to read, and according to Campaign Brief Asia, ‘In 2019, 48% of jury members are female, up from 46% in 2018, 43% in 2017 and 40% in 2016. The Cannes Lions juries will be represented by world-class specialists from over 50 countries, with first-time jury members hailing from Jordan and Morocco’.

Having moved to Asia well over six years ago, this was then and continues to remain high profile conversation and an interesting issue for us head-hunters.

According to Singapore Business Review, ‘In Singapore, 9% of firms have a female CEO’ a staggeringly low figure, however, the good news is that more and more women are becoming part of senior leadership or management teams. Good news for me as the Head of Sales and Marketing and the only female Associate Director at Space Executive, as well as our Singaporean Partner, Agnes Yee who sits on our global board.

Having researched some information around why this is the case, I was interested to learn that The Philippines is apparently one of the most gender-balanced in Asia. The Philippines have implemented various policies and initiatives that are not only being encouraged but are actually having a beneficial effect when it comes to women in the workplace and competing with men’s roles. This seems to have a large focus on flexibility around family. 

With Singapore being in a position where there is still a way to go, Space Executive decided to bring together and celebrate female leaders from all industries to try some first-class wines and champagnes, all produced of course, by women. Not to mention, we’re serving a red wine that the Duchess of Sussex has rumoured to be a big fan of.



Charlotte Van Der Vorm

Associate Director - Sales & Marketing