This year’s International Women Day’s theme is #EmbraceEquity. It is often common for the layman to use equity and inequality interchangeably, but they are intrinsically rather different. According to UN Population Fund, gender equity is the process of enacting fairness to men and women, which includes taking into consideration the historical and social disadvantages that prevent women and men from operating on a level playing field.
Moreover, gender is intersectional and women as a group are diverse. Hence, achieving gender equity also includes ensuring that different groups of women are given the resources that they need in order to succeed. This year’s IWD theme encourages a focus on equity to help shed light on and forge conversations centred around this important issue that while being a rudimentary stepping stone to achieving equality, is a distant reality for many.
In Malaysia, change is in motion.
According to Deloitte’s ‘Women in the boardroom report’, Malaysia’s efforts to create a more inclusive boardroom has been highly commendable, with continuous support from the highest level in the government and backed by private and government-linked companies, it is evident that the country continues to value women in positions of leadership.
Including women on boards and leadership teams does not only introduce diversity within the organisation, but more importantly, offers diversity and inclusion in viewpoints, decision making, and outlook, which are fundamental in driving companies forward, ahead of their peers.
Bloomberg Partnership's 2023 Gender-Equality Index (GEI) revealed that overall, Malaysian GEI members displayed a higher percentage of women on board (38%) compared to a global average of 32% in the index. These findings were derived from Bursa Malaysia, Digi.com, Top Glove Corp and Malayan Banking.
Safe to say, there is still room for improvement when it comes to breaking the glass ceiling and lifting more women into leadership positions. Especially in this day and age when tech and digital skills have become a mainstay of any job, it is imperative for women to be equipped with these skills to stay remain relevant.
The Asia Foundation launched an 'Accelerate my business program' to do just that. Aspiring female entrepreneurs were taught crucial digital and financial skills to better manage their businesses.
This International Women's Day, MARKETING-INTERACTIVE reached out to female industry players to share what they are doing to affect change in their own companies so that women can rise to the top.
Click on the pictures to watch the video!
1. Dorothy Fong, founder, IDOTYOU
2. Eileen Ooi, CEO, Omnicom Media Group Malaysia
3. Lara Hussein, CEO, M&C Saatchi
4. Munas Van Boostra, managing director, Media.Monks
5. Suleka Suppiah, director, Zeno Group Malaysia
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