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Insufficient women in decision-making posts

KUALA LUMPUR, 20 April 2009: Women in the country are under-represented at the decision-making level, indicating that not many make it to the top of the occupational hierarchy, a seminar was told today.

The ‘glass ceiling’ in the corporate world and to a lesser extent, in the public sector, blocked women’s access to top positions, said Universiti Sains Malaysia lecturer Dr Jacqueline Liza Fernandez in her paper at the National Seminar on Work, Income and Gender Equality here today.

She said in the government sector, there were only four women secretaries-general out of 27, which only constituted about 14.8%, eight directors-general out of 68 (11.8%) and nine chief executive officers (CEO) out of 64 posts (14.1%).

Similarly, as of last year, there were 5.3% of women appointed to as board of directors and 24% in other senior management posts such as president, managing director, general manager and CEO, in the private sector, added Fernandez.

She said it was the federal government’s policy to have at least 30% women in high positions in the civil service and as such, it had yet to achieve the target.

Another participant, Associate Prof Shanthi Thambiah, of Universiti  Malaya, said women, more often than not, earned less than men for doing the same job and for doing jobs of equal value.

She also felt that the evaluation of performance and hence, pay level and career progression was biased in favour of men. — Bernama


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