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Malaysia will not be able to reach its desired status as a developed nation by 2020 if it does not do more to support its female workforce.
Speaking at the launch of the Retaining Women in the Workforce report, a joint study by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and Talent Corporation Malaysia (TalentCorp), YB Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop of the Prime Minister’s Department said the country needs to “unlock the potential of half our population”.
According to the report, only 46% of the Malaysian workforce are women, lagging behind neighbouring Singapore (60%) and Thailand (70%).
“Whether we succeed in optimising on our women talent will, in large, depend on corporate Malaysia,” YB Tan Sri said.
While the report found some companies in Malaysia championing gender diversity and inclusion programmes, more can be done as 93% of female respondents said they want to return to the workforce, but only 37% have succeeded in doing so.
Additionally, only 30% of respondents’ employers provide flexible working arrangements and 7% have childcare support systems in place.
TalentCorp has partnered with ACCA to present the ACCA MaSRA 2013 Awards, which recognises best practices within corporate Malaysia.
“We are pleased to partner with ACCA in the ACCA MaSRA 2013 as we believe that sustainability reporting is an effective means to create awareness of best practices in gender diversity and inclusion, and to persuade organisations to become women-friendly,” Johan Mahmood Merican, CEO of TalentCorp, said.