- 95% businesses in Malaysia with women in senior management
95% businesses in Malaysia with women in senior management
In Grant Thornton Malaysia, we are proud to note that we have 32% of women holding senior positions in our firm. We take pride and appreciate having these capable women leading our firm to greater success.
KUALA LUMPUR – 8 March 2019: – According to the latest Women in Business research from Grant Thornton International, the percentage of businesses in Malaysia with at least one woman in senior management is at a high 95%, an increase of 15% in the last year. However, the percentage of women holding senior leadership positions has dropped from 28% last year to 23%.
Globally, 87% of businesses have at least one women in senior management, an increase of 12% in the last year. Women make up 29% of senior management team, which is the highest it has ever been. While this is only up 10% over the past 15 years of research, half of this increase (5%) has been achieved in the last 12 months alone.
Dato N.K. Jasani, Country Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Malaysia says: “These figures are incredibly encouraging and is a strong indication that gender parity is starting to be taken seriously by businesses. External factors such as organisational transparency, gender pay gap reporting and highly visible public dialogue like the #MeToo movement appear to be making businesses wake up to the change that is needed.
“In Malaysia, a few initiatives have helped drive the positive results of the increasing businesses with women on board. One of it is the new Malaysian Code of Corporate Governance that recommends having 30% of women directors in boards of large companies. Today, we can see that we have more women as Ministers and Deputy Ministers as well as in leading institutions like Bank Negara, Bursa Malaysia and PNB.
“In Grant Thornton Malaysia, we are proud to note that we have 32% of women holding senior positions in our firm. We take pride and appreciate having these capable women leading our firm to greater success.
“Another initiative is the 30% Club Malaysia, which has also been active in supporting and working with the Government to push women participation on boards of Malaysian companies. One of their initiatives is offering mentoring programme that provides a one-on-one guidance from mentors to the mentees.”
While the number of women in senior leadership is increasing, gender parity at the head of the table is still a significant way off. When it comes to the role of CEO or managing director, only 17% of businesses in Malaysia have a woman leading the business.
The report reveals that women had cited that lack of access to developmental work opportunities (16%) and caring responsibilities outside work (16%) were the barriers to reaching senior management level. Besides that, finding the time alongside core job responsibilities (14%) was also a hurdle for women to overcome on their route to executive roles.
Dato’ N.K. Jasani says: “There should be more support in place for working women especially when it comes to aiding them in their caring responsibilities outside work. Most of them had to leave the workforce to care for their young children. In this aspect, our Government had taken the call to set up childcare centres in all government offices and the first will be set up in the Parliament and will be operational this year. The decision to establish the childcare centre was in line with the government’s policy to encourage more active participation of women in politics, policy-making and in the workforce. The corporate companies are encouraged to follow suit and this will encourage women to be back in the workforce.
“In addition, last year, our Government had also announced that individual tax exemptions of up to 12 months will be given to eligible women who return to work in 2019. This would encourage women to return and the exemption programme would be supervised by TalentCorp.
The report shows that, in line with the positive overall progress recorded, 63% of businesses in Malaysia are taking deliberate action to improve gender diversity. Businesses are providing mentoring and coaching (26%) to women. Besides that, companies are implementing flexible working (25%) to aid women.
“Despite the strong business case in favour of gender diversity, change at the top has been slow until now Hopefully, the sharp increase in the representation of women in senior leadership we’re seeing this year is not purely a knee-jerk reaction to the current social climate and we’ll see similar progress in the coming years.”
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