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The best companies to work for in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, according to LinkedIn


Companies that adapted quickly to the pandemic while continuing to offer employees opportunities to advance their careers have ranked top among LinkedIn's best places to work in Southeast Asia in 2021.

Focusing on Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, the professional networking site assessed companies' performance through the unprecedented challenges of 2020 to formulate its list of 15 leading employers in each country.

Each company was measured across seven key factors said to lead to career progression: ability to advance; skills growth; company stability; external opportunity; company affinity; gender diversity; and educational background. Overall, those that managed to balance professional development with wellbeing support fared best.

"The past year has presented extraordinary challenges for so many around the world and our top companies methodology reflects these realities," said Chris Anderson, senior news editor for Asia-Pacific at LinkedIn.

"This helped us surface companies who are investing in employee growth, as we navigate a world of work that's forever changed by the global pandemic."

To be eligible, companies had to have at least 500 employees in the country, with reductions in staff no higher than 10% as of Dec. 31, 2020.

Here's a rundown of the full list.


The top 15 companies to work for in Singapore in 2021 include those in the banking, financial services, accounting and technology industries.

A man walks towards the Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation building (OCBC) in Singapore.
ROSLAN RAHMAN | AFP | Getty Images
  1. OCBC Bank
    Topping this year's list is one of Singapore's largest banks Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, which won plaudit for its management through the Covid-19 crisis. It is now offering staff additional time off as needed during the vaccine rollout. Having appointed its first female CEO in January, diversity will be high on the agenda as the bank goes on a hiring spree for financial advisors and mortgage specialists.
  2. Standard Chartered Bank
    Ranking in second place is British multinational bank Standard Chartered, which has been making strides in gender equality. The bank has also been an advocate of remote work, pledging to cut a third of its office space within four years and introducing a new policy letting staff choose when and where they work. The business is now looking to bulk out its software engineering and project management teams.
  3. Unilever
    British consumer goods company Unilever emerged in third place due in part to the support it provided to local communities during the height of the pandemic in Singapore. The business has also been recognized for its sustainability and gender equality achievements. Going forward, it intends to retain a hybrid working model, saying employees will "never return to desks" for a full five-day week.
  4. EY — Accounting
  5. UOB — Banking
  6. Citi — Financial services
  7. Accenture — Information technology & services
  8. ST Engineering — Mechanical or industrial engineering
  9. FairPrice Group — Retail
  10. Sea — Internet
  11. IBM — Information technology & services
  12. PwC — Accounting
  13. KPMG — Accounting
  14. Prudential plc — Financial services
  15. DBS Bank — Banking


Malaysia's top 15 companies in 2021 are largely multinationals in sectors spanning oil and gas, banking and telecommunications.

People wearing face masks walk in front of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Jan. 29, 2021.
Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
  1. Petronas
    Malaysia's government-owned oil and gas company Petronas ranked as the country's top employer in 2021. With a staff of almost 40,000 covering functions from engineering to energy, the company has been making progress in its push for gender equality. Women make up more than one-quarter (27%) of its workforce and the company welcomed its first woman chief financial officer last year.
  2. Permodalan Nasional Berhad
    One of Malaysia's largest fund management companies, government-linked Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) placed second among the country's leading companies. Quick to introduce flexible work arrangements at the start of the pandemic, it has since added stress and time management training for workers. Meantime, the company advocates professional development through its staff training and scholarship programs.
  3. Tenaga Nasional Berhad
    Utilities company Tenaga Nasional Berhad ranked third this year as it forges ahead with its renewable energy strategy. The CEO has pledged to create more jobs over the coming years as the company moves away from fossil fuel technologies, including expanding its footprint in Vietnam and Singapore.
  4. AIA — Insurance
  5. Telekom Malaysia — Telecommunications
  6. Accenture — Information technology & services
  7. Maybank — Banking
  8. OCBC Bank — Banking
  9. PwC — Accounting
  10. Standard Chartered Banking — Banking
  11. EY — Accounting
  12. Axiata — Telecommunications
  13. Prudential plc — Financial services
  14. Intel Corporation — Semiconductors
  15. Hong Leong Bank Berhad — Financial services


The Philippines' leading 15 companies in 2021 range from banking to telecommunications and food & beverage companies.

External view of Philippine National Bank branch in Manila, Philippines.
South China Morning Post | Getty Images
  1. Philippine National Bank
    Emerging as the Philippines' best company to work for in 2021 was Philippine National Bank. The company and its CEO were recognized for their "excellence" in responding to the pandemic, and managed to remain profitable in 2020. Looking ahead, the bank's leadership said it is optimistic about the future as it embarks on its digitization strategy.
  2. Smart Communications
    Smart Communications came in second place, and was also recognized for its response to the Covid-19 crisis, which continues to weigh on the Philippines. The telecommunications company deployed 600 stores in Metro Manila to help customers access internet services as companies shifted to remote work. It also launched a community support program to help students suffering from mental health concerns during lockdown.
  3. Manila Water
    Utilities provider Manila Water ranked third among the Philippines' top companies to work for in 2021. The business was recently commended by employees for its return to work policy, with 94% rating it highly. The company has also been offering mental health counseling and financial assistance programs to employees, as well as learning and development opportunities.
  4. Philip Morris International — Tobacco
  5. EY — Accounting
  6. Land Bank of the Philippines — Banking
  7. Manulife — Financial services
  8. Metrobank — Banking
  9. Accenture — Information technology & services
  10. Nestle — Food & beverages
  11. The Coca-Cola Company — Food & beverages
  12. Macquarie Group — Financial services
  13. NCR Corporation — Information technology & services
  14. BDO Unibank — Financial services
  15. IQVIA — Hospital & Healthcare

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