30% Club Malaysia Reveals Marked Progress of Women on Boards to 16.1% in Bursa Top 100 PLCs since the Launch of Campaign

Upper echelons of Business Leaders are urged on to champion appointing more women on boards of GLC and PLC companies.

Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah, one of the founding chairs of 30% Club Malaysia recently hosted the third Business  Leaders roundtable meeting for 2016 held at Sunway University’s state of the art Boardroom facilities. He impressed on the distinguished guests, comprising a good gender balance of corporate Chairpersons and Board Directors of various industries, that there has been marked progress in the last year from 14.0% in 2015 to the latest updated 16.1% of women on boards in Bursa Top 100 PLCs at the end of September 2016. The latest performance results indicate that engagement with upper echelons of Business leaders and through the dissemination of major findings from business case studies through supportive news media have been effective in driving the Business Leaders to seriously look into appointing more women on boards.

Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah, a strong advocate for life long education and sustainability, reminded all present that the agenda for increasing women representation in leadership positions was not just a Malaysian dream but in fact one of the 17 United

Nations Sustainability Development Goals (UN SDG). The UN SDG 5 is about empowering women and girls through adoption and strengthening of policies for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment at all levels. The objectives of the 30% Club are aligned with the goal with regards to achieving more women representation in leadership positions moving forward.

The roundtable gathered valuable advice and comments from Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali Chairman MBSB and IJM Corporation Berhad, Tan Sri Ibrahim Zain Chairman of Rex Industry and Censof Holdings Berhad, Executive Chairman Gopeng Berhad Dato’ Mohd Salleh Hashim, Datin Paduka Zaitoon Othman from Yayasan Sime Darby, Executive Director Mah Sing Group, Madam Leong Yuet Mei, JAG Berhad Chairman Datin Stacey Tan, Masteel Director Mr Roy Thean, Tropicana Corporation Berhad’s Dato’ Yau Kok Seng, RHB Islamic Bank Berhad ‘s Datuk Hj Faisal Siraj, MSM Malaysia Holdings Berhad’s Dato’ Rosini Abdul Samad, asli’s Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Michael Yeoh amongst others. Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development NIEW Director Puan Normalia Ibrahim and Sunway senior directors were also present.

Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin, Chairman for Maybank Berhad and also a Founding Chair of the 30% Club Malaysia urged Business Leaders to continue to champion this mission to achieve 30% target or more in their capacity for it is globally acknowledged as a proven business case for improving leadership, governance and ultimately increasing shareholder value.

Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, Chairman of Malaysian Debt Ventures and a Founding Chair of 30% Club added that “While progress has been made, more intensive efforts are still needed on the part of Chairmen and CEOs to drive the achievement of the target, build the pipeline of women talent and provide opportunities for women to demonstrate their capabilities at senior leadership levels”.

The 30% Club Steering Committee will work closely with companies with zero women on their boards as a special focus for 2017 amongst other key initiatives. Co-Founder of the 30% Club Malaysia and CEO Leadwomen Anne Abraham suggested that “in order to develop a strong and sustainable pipeline of eligible women for group level board positions, Chairs should consider placing women onto their subsidiary boards as an opportunity for development and visibility in the board circles”.