KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet has approved a policy that women must comprise at least 30% of those in decision-making positions in the corporate sector.
Companies have been given five years to meet the requirement, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced here Monday.
He added that the policy was a continuation of a similar one set for the public sector in 2004.
“I believe this landmark and important decision made by the Cabinet last week will be a catalyst to an affirmative action towards gender equality in the corporate sector.
“This decision reflects that the government today is not only supportive towards women’s roles and success, but is also encouraging them to further move ahead in their career. It is a landmark decision that will change the role of women in the private sector,” he told a press conference at the Parliament lobby.
The Prime Minister added that the five-year timeline was seen as reasonable and expressed hope that the private sector would see this as a pro-active measure to further strengthen the companies’ structure and future performance.
He added said the policy for at least 30% women to be in decision-making position in the civil service had been successful, pointing out that ratio had grown steadily to 32.3% last year from 18.8% in 2004.
“Today, we do not only have women who hold the post of secretary-general of ministries but also heads of various government departments and agencies. This is surely a significant and notable achievement for women,” he said.
According to Bank Negara records, only 45 women or 6% were appointed as board members of financial institutions as of April this year.
Najib said to ensure the policy would be executed effectively, the Finance Ministry, with the co-operation of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Malaysian Alliance of Corporate Directors and Malaysian Directors Academy would formulate training programmes to prepare those with potential for the board of directors’ job.