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?
From Deloitte Malaysia’s perspective, we have a good balance in gender diversity where our female employees make up 61% of the total workforce and female representation at senior level is at 52%. In addition, based on our 2011 People Survey conducted end last year, Diversity was rated positively by our employees and is not an area of concern for our firm. Compared to the World Bank statistics of 46%, Deloitte Malaysia certainly do not fall into that category. We believe that Malaysia is taking steps to catch up with the other SEA countries eventually with the various Government initiatives to increase female participation in the workforce.
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?
Deloitte Malaysia and our global office recognizes the importance of diversity in our organization and we hire skilled individuals based on what they can offer in terms of knowledge, skills and competence. We believe diversity contributes to new ways, ideas and provides different perspectives on how we can provide solutions to our clients. Since our clients come from a multitude of industries, hiring professionals from various diverse background irregardless of their gender would certainly help us add value to the needs of our clients.
Does your organization have any policy or KPIs emphasizing female talents? What systems or tools has your organization put in place to attract women on career hiatus to rejoin the workforce?
Nowadays, flexible working arrangements (FWA) and support facilities are preferred by women with families. Does your organization provide these? If yes, can you share more details on these?
As part of our SEA talent strategy and also global initiatives, we are continuously refining our policies and practices to support and recognize our female talents. Currently, this is not part of our formal KPI because Deloitte employees have already acknowledged and embraced the importance of female talents. For example, in SEA, we are evaluating various flexi schemes to support the needs of our female employees who have young children and who need to better balance their career with family life.