KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is continuing to push towards the goal of having women hold 30% of top corporate positions by announcing several new measures.
Even more substantive, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants to see results by the end of next year.
Among the measures announced by Najib include allowing executives of listed government-linked companies (GLCs) to serve on boards of other listed companies.
Public-listed companies in future will also need to disclose the composition of their board and top management in terms of gender, ethnicity and age.
“From now on, GLCs will by policy allow their executives to serve on boards of other listed companies.
“I would encourage all listed companies to follow suit in addition to leveraging on the pool of their own serving women executive,” he said when delivering his keynote address at the launching of the “Lead The Change-Getting Women on Boards” gathering here yesterday.
Najib said the move was necessary as the number of women in top key positions was still far behind the 2016 target announced by the Government in 2011.
He noted that women only made up 16% of the boards of public companies while those sitting on listed boards was only 10.3%.
“This agenda is close to my heart and I have asked for regular progress reports from Bursa,” he said, adding that listed companies would have to disclose their top managing team in their future annual reports.
Earlier, he said some 34% of all management positions in the country were held by women.
“A survey done by global recruitment firm Hayes in 2015 revealed that Malaysia’s position was 5% higher than the region’s 29% average.
“We rank second only to China and for the first time we have overtaken Hong Kong and Singapore,” he said.
He also announced that the nation was on course to achieving its female labour participation rate of 55% by the year’s end.
He added that this represented some 600,000 women joining the workforce and adding an extra 0.3% to the annual gross domestic product.
The rate last year was 53.4% with the rate currently at 53.6%.
Najib also launched the Malaysian chapter of the 30% Club aimed at promoting women to hold more decision-making positions.
At a press conference later, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said that 93% out of over 200 captains of industries attending the gathering agreed to work towards appointing at least a woman to their board.
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