Faizal Nor Izham
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 11:58:00
KUALA LUMPUR: The government should take the lead in promoting women to decision-making roles and the private sector would naturally follow suit.
This was the response of the Federation of Public Listed Companies (FPLC) on the recent announcement made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that women should take up 30 per cent of top corporate positions by 2016.
FPLC's president Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas said there ought to be more high-ranking females in government-linked companies by next year.
Megat Najmuddin said presently, 70 per cent of university applicants are women, which means in the next five years there should be an increase in highly-educated working women.
"More than half of our doctors, engineers, lawyers and accountants are women. This was unthinkable in previous generations.”
Cooperative Commission of Malaysia director Abdullah Mahmood said he is fully supportive of the government's plan.
"This is good to hear as I believe women are just as capable as men in terms of educational standards and ability."
He cited current Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz as a prime example, whom he says is one of the most qualified economists and is more than capable of managing monetary policy.
"Women are often diligent and trustworthy," he said. "In my opinion, they should increase the number of top positions to 40 per cent or not even have a limit at all."
Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) president Datuk Omar Osman agrees women should be allowed further opportunities but is uncertain if the move would apply to the government sector for now.
"The corporate world is more appealing anyway because it is far more lucrative."
However, he would like to see future change in this regard as long as women continue to prove their ability.
"If we wish to progress as a nation, we need to see change at some point. In the meantime, we will need to review how able and motivated women are."
He said women are ideal for such roles as they are patient, thorough and contemplative by nature.
"They can offer a reasonable and insightful perspective on things that men may not always provide."