More women to power the boardroom

PETALING JAYA: The glass-ceiling in Malaysia has continued to be weakened with the latest figure indicating 16.1% women on boards of Bursa Malaysia’s Top 100 Public Listed Companies (PLC), as of September 2016.

This has been a marked progress compared to the 14% registered last year. The latest performance indicated that engagement with upper echelons of business leaders and through the dissemination of major findings from business case studies through supportive news media have been effective in driving the business leaders to seriously look into appointing more women on boards.

Speaking at the third business leaders roundtable meeting for 2016 at Sunway University, Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah reminded that the agenda for increasing women representation in leadership positions was not just a Malaysian dream but in fact one of the 17 United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (UN SDG).

He is one of the founding chairs of 30% Club Malaysia, which is aligned with the goal with regard to achieving more women representation in leadership positions moving forward.

The roundtable was attended by many industrial key figures and distinguished individuals. Among them are, Mah Sing Group executive director Leong Yuet Mei, Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd director Roy Thean and Non-Aligned Movement Institute for the Empowerment of Women (NIEW) director Normalia Ibrahim.
Maybank Berhad chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin urged business leaders to continue to champion the mission to achieve 30% target or more in their capacity for it is globally acknowledged as a proven business case for improving leadership, governance and ultimately increasing shareholder value.

Malaysian Debt Ventures chairman Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar opined that more efforts are crucial to bring women to the forefront of the corporate world.

“While progress has been made, more intensive efforts are still needed on the part of chairmen and CEOs to drive the achievement of the target, build the pipeline of women talent and provide opportunities for women to demonstrate their capabilities at senior leadership levels,” she said.