The labour movement launched a contest to find the most family-friendly employers yesterday, a move it hopes will make workplaces here better for working mothers.

The competition aims not just to recognise these employers but also to help other companies learn from their efforts.

Said National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) president Diana Chia: "We want all to know that Singapore has many good companies which are not just profit-driven but make their profits by being socially responsible." She spoke at Downtown East, at an event to mark International Women's Day.

The contest, organised by the NTUC Women's Development Secretariat and the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices, invites working mums to nominate their bosses. The closing date for entries is May 3.

Ms Chia also noted that the labour force participation rate of women aged 25 to 64 in 2012 was 71 per cent, adding that she hoped the figure will rise further.

In comparison, the labour force participation rate for men in the same age range was 92.5 per cent in 2012.

NTUC's initiative complements a wider nationwide effort by the Government to boost fertility rates, partly by encouraging businesses to be family-friendly.

Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, who also attended the event, told The Sunday Times it was time for companies to go beyond adopting general philosophies, to translate them into actions.

She said: "If you talk to many employers, they will agree this is good. But the question is, after agreeing, what are you doing about it?"

Yesterday's event also featured a job fair, where 1,000 jobs from 17 different employers were on offer, out of which 10 firms offered some 200 positions which provided for some form of flexible work arrangements.