According to the World Bank, participation by women in the workforce in Malaysia stands at 46%, which is low by international standards compared to neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. What do you think are the reasons and how can organisations tackle this situation?
At DiGi, our female to male workforce ratio is 1 : 1.3 (55% : 45%). It is important to note that our employees are hired based on their skills and experience for roles required and not gender specific. I believe there are many qualified women in the marketplace seeking a conducive environment for them to grow. This then boils down to individuals having the right competencies, skills and experience and for the organisation to create a challenging and family-friendly environment to attract the best talents.
Gender diversity has become a priority agenda item for policymakers and business leaders internationally. How can gender diversity add value to your organisation? How can it add or improve business and financial performance?
Diversity in the workplace allows us to leverage the strengths and complement the weaknesses of each employee to make the impact of the workforce greater than the sum of its parts, hence bringing great value to the organisation. Telenor Group in which DiGi is a part of is a strong advocate of this principle. Pooling the diverse knowledge and skills together can benefit companies by strengthening teams' productivity and responsiveness to changing conditions.The best talents from differing backgrounds, age and gender bring unique experiences and views in addition to their individuality that can help us build an encompassing organisation.
Does your organisation have any policy or KPIs emphasising on female talents? What systems or tools has your organisation put in place to attract women on career hiatus to rejoin the workforce? Nowadays, flexible work arrangements (FWA) and support facilities are preferred by women with families. Does your organisation provide these? If yes, can you share more details on these? If not, can you share your and your organisation's view on FWA and support facilities? Would you propose and implement any of the FWA or support facilities in your organisation? If you do, which will your management team support to take-up?
We strive to bring out the Best on People by creating a challenging yet supportive work environment that offers employees the opportunity to develop regardless of their position in the organisation with a competitive, and performance-based rewards system. We have a structured performance appraisal programme, and regular review of goals/KPIs, development and planning for employees career opportunities. This applies to everyone in the organisation. I believe these elements are key to attracting, developing and nurturing Malaysia's top talents; women included.
Due to the nature of our business we are able to promote mobility at work. Employees have a choice of flexible work hours or to work away from the office as they are equipped with mobile communication to stay connected all the time. This principle is applicable to all employees.
Aside from flexible work arrangements, we have also created a work environment and offer benefits that are family-friendly such as the option to take up extended maternity leave (up to 4 months), paternity leave, nursing room, and medical benefit for the entire family.