KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia records 26% of women board members compared to the 19.7% global average, enabling the country to top the list of Asian nations.
Malaysia also ranked higher than the other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand (17.8%), Singapore (17.6%), and Hong Kong (13.9%)
A recent study conducted by Deloitte in collaboration with The 30% Club have shown that Malaysia has the highest percentages of female chief financial officers among the Asian countries in the survey, with the nation recording 34.9% and ranking more than double the global average of 15.7%.
Despite that, the study said Malaysia was still 4% off the targeted 30% women board members representation mark in 2020.
In 2011, Malaysia’s government announced the Corporate Governance (CG) Blueprint 2011 and the present Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance 2021 (MCGC 2021) requires that should the 30% women board members representation target not be met, the board must disclose its action frame as well as a timeframe to hit the target.
Additionally, the board should also examine the number of women in senior management positions in order to maintain a strong talent pool.
To top it off, the study also found that Malaysian regulators and organisations are still discussing the issue of increasing women board members as well as in the workforce.
MCGC 2021 had undergone some revisions and among the significant changes would be the extension of the 30% gender diversity requirements to all businesses on the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Top 100 Index or firms with the market capitalisation of RM2 billion and above.
According to Deloitte Malaysia risk advisory executive director, Muzafar Kamal, active involvement from board members such as the Nomination Committee, would be needed to push the agenda forward.
“It is advised for organisations to have a thorough succession plan in place that can be utilised not only to identify candidates for both the board and management team, and also for further training and development,” he added.
In the seventh edition report titled ‘Women in the boardroom: A global perspective’, the study shown an increase in the number of women board members from 14.3% in 2018 to the 17.1% average, an increase of 2.8% overall. The average in Asia is 11.7% while the global average is 19.7%.
The study has proven that the number of women board members have increased since 2018. However so, the perceptions and acceptance of females in top leadership roles in boards are notably different across the geographic regions.
In regards to the tenure of Southeast Asian women board members, it remained stable although some saw a decline. Singapore recorded a sharp decline from 5.0 years to 4.4 years.
Malaysia and the Philippines also shown a decrease in tenure term, which might be attributed to the wider pool of women candidates in these countries as the overall number of women board members grew.
Find out more about the study here.
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