Meritocracy And Gender Parity

by Patrick Liew on March 27, 2017

Meritocracy still applies but we have to deepen our understanding of meritocracy.

Meritocracy should not be about achieving a higher position at the expense of others or leaving them behind in life.

In the process of forging ahead, the successful should also reach out to help others raise their level of performance and accomplishment.

They should share in the responsibility of helping those who do not enjoy the same position, privilege, and advantages as themselves.

To progress, we should recognise and reward those who stand out and stay ahead on the basis of their talents, performance and results.

However, it does not mean that those who are not as successful have a negative attitude, are not talented, and are not working hard to improve their results.

We should not leave any segment of society behind and we should help every segment to find ways to catch up and improve themselves.

In this regard, we should help to headhunt female talents and groom them for leadership positions.

We cannot say that there are no available female talents or that these talents cannot be developed to take on more responsible positions.

Why do we not have more women and more promotion of women in leadership positions?

As SID Chairman Willie Cheng mentioned in the article, “”A fundamental issue is the process by which new board members are being recruited. They tend to reach out to their personal network. We need to get past this old boys’ network approach,” he noted.”

If that being the case, then we may have committed gross injustice to our women folks.

A key point in my posting is that we should find out why there’s a low ratio of women in leadership positions and take proactive actions to resolve the issue.

I’m not suggesting that there should be a quota for women in leadership positions.

Gender issues should not be allowed to affect our overall effectiveness and efficiency.

On the other hand, not addressing the gender issue can cause a cascade of negative consequences, including having policy myopia and less than representational feedback from the electorate.

We should not be satisfied with having such a low number of women in senior positions.

After all, women hold up half of the sky for us.

In a bigger picture, I call upon fellow humans to help women expand their potential and pursue their passions in life.

Let us help them enjoy equal rights and opportunities and maximize their contributions to their loved ones, community, workplace and society.

Truth be told, women are oftentimes born to play on an un-level playing field.

They face many disadvantages throughout their life, including negative discrimination about women’s place in society.

Women have to generally work harder to prove their worth.

They have to make more sacrifices in finding their place under the family and organizational sun.

We can certainly do more and do better to help them enjoy their rightful place in businesses and in other aspects of life.

In the long term, we should develop different tracks to help every Singaporean to achieve success.

Even if he is a late developer or has been sidetracked in his growth, he should be able to rejoin the others and achieve the best possible results.

The purpose of meritocracy is to unite and not to divide the people, to advance their interests and not to serve any personal interests.

It is to to raise the tide for all – and not for any exclusive groups – to achieve a higher standard of living.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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