Pro-business policies and a flourishing venture capital (VC) market have made Singapore an ideal destination for start-ups, but more needs to be done to eradicate a long-standing gender imbalance in the tech industry where women entrepreneurs remain a rare breed.
In the Southeast Asian city-state, merely 5 percent of tech start-ups are headed by women, according to the World Economic Forum's "Global Gender Gap Report" released in October 2014.
"Singapore is a fantastic place for entrepreneurs… The government has put in a lot of effort to provide entrepreneurs [with] everything they need, from grants, co-working spaces and a network of international investors," Mouna Aouri Langendorf, founder of women entrepreneur community and crowdfunding platform Woomentum, told CNBC. "But there is something holding women back from putting themselves forward in a male-dominated space like tech. Just look at the numbers."
Anecdotal evidence also paints a picture where males outnumber women significantly at start-up industry networking events and pitching sessions. "From my experience, if you see 1 to 2 females when you go to pitch events or meetings with accelerators, you'll be lucky," Langendorf, a Tunisia-born civil engineer who relocated to Singapore in 2011, added.
To be sure, Singapore is no anomaly.
Despite the rise of female tech icons such as Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer, global tech giants continue to grapple with the issue of female underrepresentation in their workforce. For instance, statistics from Twitter in 2014 revealed that only 28 percent of its employees are women, while Facebook and Apple stand slightly higher at 29 percent each.