The 30% Club Malaysia Chapter recently hosted a roundtable engagement on 10th October at the Securities Commission with invited Chairmen and board directors in efforts to achieve 30% women representation on public listed corporate boards by 2020.
The roundtable was the third such engagement in 2017 and it was chaired by 30% Club Advisory Co Chair Datuk Mohaiyani Shamsudin, and Executive Co Founding Chair Anne Abraham.
While more diverse boards lead to stronger business performance, the pace of change in Malaysia has not been as fast as the Government had hoped. Today, only 95 out of 928 listed companies have achieved 30% women board representation; 372 companies have not a single woman at all on their boards.
In a bid to express seriousness in reaching the 30% target, Prime Minister Najib Razak has pledged that in 2018, public-listed companies with no women on their board of directors will be named and shamed and risk losing out on government contracts.
Datuk Mohaiyani said, “We must keep advocating for diversity in the boardroom, and move towards the country’s targets. We are pleased to have the participation of Chairmen of Boards and Nomination Committees such as Tan Sri’ Dr Lin See-Yan of Genting Berhad, Tan Sri Ramli Haji Mohd Nor of Boustead Heavy Industries Berhad, Tan Sri Mohamed Mansor bin Fateh Din of Glomac Berhad and Dato' N. Sadasivan of APM Automotive Holdings Berhad amongst others at the roundtable who are willing to openly discuss with the 30% Club their specific challenges in engaging women directors and explore avenues for resolving them.”
The inventory of challenges presented at the roundtables thus far include difficulties in sourcing for board-ready women directors or for those with specific skills, and the limited profiling of potential women directors.
Since its launch in Malaysia in May 2015, the 30% Club has taken a frontline role in bridging the supply of and demand for women directors, leveraging partner programmes such as women development and mentorship programmes.
“With the conviction of the Government, the participation of public and private learning enterprises, the commitment of Corporate Boards, and a pool of qualified women, there should be every chance Malaysia will reach the 30% target by 2020,” said Anne Abraham.