The Malaysian population stands at 29,336,000 of which approximately 13,313,000 or 45%* are women. The population of women in Malaysia consists of those who are working, in business, homemakers/caregivers and those who are retired.
Women in Asia are building and inheriting more wealth than ever before. According to the Boston Consulting Group (BSG) 2010 report, the percentage of wealth controlled by women in Asia (ex Japan) is rising nearing 30 per cent annually and total wealth controlled by women reached 2.8 trillion rupees (US$914 billion) in 2010*.
On the local front, Malaysia’s high net worth individuals will more than double from its current 32,000 to 68,000 persons in 2015, with their net worth increasing from US$140 billion to US$330 billion****. How many of them will be women? Women are moving up in the world as a force to be reckoned with. You see them at all levels of economic situations and most of them have the resilience and tenacity to hold a multitude of roles which is demanded of them in this day and age.
Today’s women have to pit against men in the corporate and business world. Their income is required in a family to afford a comfortable life yet keep up with inflation. When they get home, they are a mother to their children, wife to their husband and daughter to their parents. Yes, and some are even providing for their aged relatives and siblings through circumstances.
In spite of all these, a good many have succeeded in their lives. They paid their dues, strengthen their resolve and march on with roles they have to play, armed with knowledge, experience and many a time, their intuition.
Profile of a Successful Woman
The successful woman is either a working professional or a successful woman entrepreneur between the ages of 35 to 50 years old. Her academic background maybe either be a degree or two or someone who have worked rank and file up to where she is today.
It is also not unusual for them to be holding a degree or two or even masters. She is ambitious, smart and efficient.
“Some references show that 80% of successful women earn a minimum of RM180,000 per annum. Their net worth can easily be RM2 million and more.”
You can easily identify her and she is present even in traditionally male dominant industries, such as oil and gas, construction contracting and finance. According to statistics from the Mid-term review of the 8th Malaysia Plan, the proportion of women who are legislators, senior officials and managers has increased from 5 per cent in 2000 to 5.3 per cent in 2002.
The successful woman would also be very discerning with what she eats and wears. You can see her dining at places that offer quality and healthier choices of food. Some may even choose to go vegetarian once a week to maintain her good health and shape.
She is also careful when shopping for personal goods and household essentials. Bags and shoes must be original and household essentials must be ecological-friendly. You may find those who champion animal causes opting out of leather goods in preference for environmentalsustaining materials like fabric for her shoes and bags. They may be custom-made.
Her sources of information are also varied; from online to Kinder and the traditional books and periodicals. It is a matter of preference and sometimes which generation these women belong to. Topics range widely from those related to their professions to health. Ah yes, and when it comes to finances, she would have read up quite a bit from investment magazines and other articles. Perhaps, even read a book or two on personal finances.
And because of her earning power, she may be able to set aside 20 to 30% of her investment towards enhancing or upgrading her home, her car and attending to her family’s needs. If she is single, she would have stashed away a tidy sum of savings for her golden years. If married, her stash may be somewhat lower as he would have used some for her family. Financial institutions are constantly targeting this category of women to market their financial products.
Travel? Most certainly. It is a must. After working so hard this is her ‘me time’. Travelling out of the country and taking a break helps soothe frazzled nerves from work stress. It rejuvenates the spirit so that when she gets back, she is prepared to face the battles in the corporate world.
Is it any wonder that Prudential’s survey showed 53% of women who participated in the survey are the primary breadwinners for their families? Surely, they are a force to be reckoned with.
And because of the nature of her profession, chances are she lives in cities, nearer to the work place to cut down unnecessary travelling time. Some may even be working from home with technology to help them connect with fellow colleagues when necessary.
She will have a group of close, like-minded friends whom she socialises frequently and even goes on holidays with. This is her support group to motivate her, share her successes and challenges in life. It will also be common to see them convening at prestigious clubs, of which they are members, and attending high society functions around town.
When she starts a family it is with certainty that she will execute the running of her household very much the way she works. Fast, organised, process driven and systematic. Children will have a calendar of schedules for school, activities and recreation. The successful woman now has to include her family live in her busy schedule, so quality time with family is a must. Get a maid, driver, gardener to do the mundane work, besides it is cheaper than her
time cost and they are probably better at it than she is.
As an ultra high or high net worth individual in her own right, she has a high self-esteem and has awareness of her legal rights both at work and in her personal life. In short, she is no push-over. She can suss out a scam from a mile away and is careful with her business and investment dealings.
Successful women know the value of a business and are more than willing to pay for the services of good counsel, good financial advice and therapy. After all, she owns a business too and wants others to pay them what they are worth. They understand that time constraints are the main factor to them achieving more in all aspects of their lives
hence the need to leverage on other people’s skills to help them achieve and maintain their successes in life.
It is no surprise that they are aware of the need to make the best of their wealth. As time is a constraint, she is then tasked with the challenge of looking for trusted, competent and reliable advisors in her finance, legal matters and in creating the right image for herself.
All said and done, the successful woman is still human beneath all that tough and efficient exterior. There will be times when she wonders whether what she does is right. After several years of running the rat race, she will ponder about life. What is her purpose? Is this all there is to it?
Call it self-actualisation. When she has succeeded in life, the children are grown up, either studying or working, what can she and her husband do? Is it time to contribute back to society? How will she leave a legacy?
You may see her then embark on another passionate journey in her final phase of life. Fund raising, charity work, voluntary work. She is realising her spiritual life and this completes her as a successful woman, someone who will leave her mark in the world and make it a better world for generations to come.
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