Malaysian minister advocates for more women in leadership roles

March 15, 2023

Through advocacy in government-linked and private firms, Malaysia wants to achieve the goal of 30% female representation in key decision-making roles.

A call was made for an increase in women’s representation in corporate leadership by Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, Minister of Women, Family and Community Development of Malaysia.

She noted that the public sector has exceeded its goal of 30% women representation in high-ranking positions, with 38.2% of women in holding key decision-making roles in the Jusa category, which represents the highest level in Malaysia’s public bureaucracy.

Through advocacy, the minister wants both government-linked organisations and the private sector to meet a common target, as she explained, “It is our job to continue advocating as we have been saying that 30% of [female representation] has yet to be achieved in the private sector. It is not within our control, but we will keep advocating.”

In 2022, only 22% of women held board-level position in the private sector, according to the Women Leadership Foundation (WLF), which was established in 2021 to champion gender diversity in business, and to increase women participation in Malaysia’s private and public sectors.

Datuk Dr. Hafsah Hashim, Chairman of the WLF, called for the government to mandate all public-listed organisations to have 30% female representation in decision-making positions. This, she said, would help to reach the target faster and cited studies showing that the appointment of women to board positions leads to increased investment, equity returns, and overall organisation performance, reported New Straits Times.

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