Friday, August 30, 2013

Malaysian Women: Re-energizing a Latent Workforce Resource

Intel Malaysia, supported by Talent Corporation Malaysia, Advocates Formation of a Northern Region Women’s Network to Retain and Motivate Women towards Leadership Excellence 

The Malaysian Government seeks to increase women participation in the workforce from 49.5% to 55.0% by end 2015 (Tenth Malaysia Plan 2011-2015, 2010) 
Intel Malaysia spearheads the inaugural Northern Region MNC Women’s Leadership Summit, supported by Talent Corporation Malaysia (TalentCorp) to discuss, share ideas and address issues with regards to the retention and motivation of women towards leadership excellence.
The Summit will serve as a first step to forming a women’s network connecting companies within the Northern Region of Peninsula Malaysia in collaboration with TalentCorp.
Intel understands the value of a diverse workforce and aspires to be the Workplace of Choice for Malaysian women.

PENANG, August 29, 2013 – In line with the Government’s aspiration to increase women’s participation in the Malaysian workforce to 55% by the year 2015*, various organisations including the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development have taken steps to promote the participation of women in the labour market. These efforts include making more career options available to them to suit their family and lifestyle needs.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Talent Corporation Malaysia (TalentCorp), Malaysian women visibly desire flexible work arrangements that accommodate family commitments, support for maternal needs, optimum work-life balance and equal opportunities and rewards.

(From L-R) Suresh Chandra, HR Director, Intel Malaysia; Sophia Chew, Vice President, Software and Services Group, Director, Developer Relations Division Operations Intel PRC & Intel Asia Pacific and En Johan Mahmood Merican, CEO of TalentCorp Malaysia at the Northern Region MNC Women’s Leadership Summit press conference.

These were among some of the many key topics discussed in Intel Malaysia’s recent inaugural Northern Region MNC Women’s Leadership Summit on August 26th. Organised with the support of TalentCorp, the Summit is a platform to discuss, share ideas and address various issues with regards to the retention of women towards leadership excellence.

“At Intel, we understand the value of a diverse workforce. It is imperative for companies to set up initiatives to attract, recruit, integrate, develop and retain women in the workforce,” said Suresh Chandra, Human Resources Director Intel Malaysia. “To advance a work environment that honors, values, and respects all of employees, we need to promote efforts to hire, develop and retain technical female employees and underrepresented ethnic groups within the organization.”

Since its establishment here in 1972, Intel Malaysia has trained and employed thousands of talented Malaysians. As one of Intel Corporation’s most complex offshore site outside of the US, almost 50% of Intel Malaysia’s 9000 strong workforce today are women. Intel has been named one of the top companies for Executive Women by the National Association for Female Executives and was awarded the 2013 Anita Borg Top Company for Technical Women award, which recognises companies for demonstrating substantial progress in the “recruitment, retention and advancement of technical women at all levels”. Intel Malaysia was also recognized by AON Hewitt with a Best Employer 2013 award – a testament to Intel being a workplace of choice in Malaysia.

 “We should also consistently strive to enrich our women employees and encourage personal growth with policies and measures that ensure employees achieve a healthy work-life balance,” said Sophia Chew, Vice President Intel Corporation, Software and Services Group in her keynote. “Our Women@Intel Network (WIN) addresses exactly that. WIN is a network of Intel’s female and male employees who participate in a variety of activities with the aim of enhancing efforts to attract, recruit, integrate, develop and retain female talents in the workforce.”

“I believe with the right set of workplace best practices and a supportive network like Intel’s WIN, women can and will take the lead in corporate Malaysia,” Sophia added.

“Malaysia has 49.5% women participation rate in the workforce, which is one of the lowest in this region.  In supporting the Government’s target of increasing women participation in the labour force, Malaysian companies play a powerful role in encouraging the retention of women in the workplace,” said Johan Mahmood Merican, CEO of TalentCorp.

“TalentCorp is working with a network of employers through the portal to share best practices, advertise jobs with flexible work arrangements and provide tax incentives to encourage employers to recruit women who’ve left the workforce. In fact, Intel is one of the leading employers which has contributed their best practices in the portal.  We also have a senior HR leader from Intel who’s a TalentCorp Diversity Advocate,” added Johan.

With keynote sessions and panel discussions featuring luminaries representing corporate Malaysia including the likes of Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Chairman of AirAsia X, the Summit saw a combined participation of approximately 240 delegates from MNCs in the Northern Region of Peninsula Malaysia. These MNCs include companies within the Penang Free Industrial Zone and government agencies.

The Summit concluded with a recruitment drive, encouraging participating delegates to establish women support networks similar to Intel’s WIN within their own organizations. Through networks such as these, companies would be able to support and accelerate the development of their women employees.

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