Lack of women in top management

Survey shows they hold big posts in only about 27% of over 100 listed companies

PETALING JAYA: A survey of over 100 listed companies showed that only about 27% have women in the top management.

The survey, conducted by TalentCorp, was derived from 130 respondents including 67 of the largest 100 listed companies by market capitalisation, representing 70% of Bursa Malaysia’s total market cap.

The private sector acknowledged the gender imbalance on Malaysian boards and many companies have committed to voluntarily increase the number of women in decision-making positions.

“The gender, ethnic and age make-up of the Malaysian population is still not well-reflected in the corporate environment,” according to the report.

The report listed I0I Corp Bhd, GENTING BHD, RHB Capital Bhd and FRASER & NEAVE HOLDINGS BHD as not having any female as its board members. However, it showed that Dialog Group Bhd had 37.5% of women at board level, followed by ORIENTAL HOLDINGS BHD with 36.4%, Pos Malaysia Bhd at 33.3% and BIMB HOLDINGS BHD at also 33.3%.

Despite women making up 60% of local university graduates, the report said that men still outnumber women in top management across various industries.

The trend is the reverse for men, where at the chief executive officer level, men top the charts at 95% occupancy, said United Nations Resident Coordinator Michelle Gyles-McDonnough at the “Ring The Bell For Gender Equality” event on Friday.

She said the Government had set up a women directors programme to accelerate the uptake of women into top management but the results were gloomy.

“Between April 2012 and December 2015, it registered 1,093 women. “Only 40 women have been successfully placed,” she said.

She added that the small number was probably due to the fierce clash between life, family and work priorities.

“According to a report conducted over 800 women, 65% quoted raising family as the reason they left, while 38% said they did so to take care of a family member,” she said.

Bursa Malaysia showed support by requiring all listed companies to establish and disclose in their annual reports their diversity policies, covering gender, ethnicity and age for board and management.

“Studies have shown that if the top management, companies or boards were more diverse, they would not only be more efficient but could also perform better,” chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan said.

He added that the local exchange was committed to raising awareness on gender equality as part of its global initiative.

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