KUCHING, Feb 4: The 30 per cent requirement of women representation on corporate boards has been incorporated in the Malaysian Code of Corporate Governance which public listed companies (PLCs)in the country must comply with, said Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, one of the founding chairpersons of the 30% Club Malaysia and former Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) chairwoman.
She said in a statement that across all 943 PLCs, the number of companies with 30 per cent or more women on the board is now 147 whereas the number of companies with no women on the board is 304.
This was revealed here during round table discussion with the 30% Club Malaysia Chapter and the Sarawak Energy Leading Women Network (SELWN) and Leadwomen here recently.
Chaired by Zarinah, the discussion marked the first time it was held in Kuching. The roundtable discussion is a private sector initiative by the 30% Club to engage related parties from Sarawak and Sabah in discussion relating to increasing representation of women on the board of PLCs in Malaysia in line with the SC’s directive.
The roundtable discussion was held following the Corporate Governance Strategic Priorities (2017-2020) announced by the SC last year, which included increased gender diversity on boards of listed companies and enhancing overall board leadership and effectiveness among its priorities.
The other panel members at the roundtable discussion were Aisah Eden, executive champion of SELWN and Anne Abraham, chairwoman of LeadWomen.
Anne who is a strong advocate for women leadership development said that there is a need to redefine the leadership framework to accommodate a healthy diversity at the management level by having more women at the leadership round table.
“This is what we at LeadWomen are working on to support by bringing together potential women candidates and corporations and facilitating placement of capable women in senior leadership and board positions,” she elaborated.
Meanwhile, Aisah said diversity and inclusion form the basis for equal opportunities for growth within Sarawak Energy. Building on this, SELWN was formed as a professional networking platform with the principal objective to develop and empower women leaders.
“SELWN plays an important part in promoting and implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 5 on gender equality and women empowerment. We encourage the participations of our women in similar roundtable discussions, forum, collaboration and networking as a prerequisite and immersion for future leadership roles.”
Altogether 25 participants from the public and various other sectors such as professional bodies, government linked companies (GLCs) and academicians from local universities and higher learning institutions from Sarawak and Sabah participated in the roundtable discussion.
More of such discussions have been planned in the future as follow-ups from this.