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ACCA And TalentCorp Collaborate To Promote Gender Diversity And Corporate Sustainability Reporting

Kuala Lumpur – ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and Talent Corporation Malaysia (TalentCorp) today released a report entitled ‘Retaining Women in the Workforce’, the result of a survey done in mid-2012 on the state of female employment and retention in Malaysia.

The report, which sought to understand the reasons behind Malaysian women’s low participation in the labour force, was released today at the launch of the ACCA Malaysia Sustainability Reporting Awards (MaSRA) 2013 by YB Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

In his Keynote Address, YB Tan Sri said: “At the crux of the matter, Malaysia will not be able to achieve its ambitions to emerge a developed nation by 2020 if we are not able to fully unlock the potential of half our population – that is, our talent pool of women. Whether we succeed in optimising on our women talent will, in large, depend on Corporate Malaysia.”

To gain a better insight into the issue, ACCA and TalentCorp mooted a joint survey to analyse the factors behind the scarcity of women in the Malaysian workforce, which according to the World Bank - Malaysian Economic Monitor November 2012 Report falls short at 46%, compared to ASEAN countries like Singapore (60%) and Thailand (70%).

The survey revealed that 93% of female respondents on a career break had considered re-entering the workforce; however 63% find it difficult to do so. The study also found that only 30% of the respondents’ employers have flexible work arrangements policy, coupled with only 7% having childcare support facility policy in place.

The report highlights that while there are some within Corporate Malaysia which champions gender diversity and inclusion programmes, the fact remains that this is currently not in wide practice among Malaysian employers.

This survey is a critical element in ACCA and TalentCorp’s initiatives to promote gender diversity and inclusion through sustainability reporting via the ACCA MaSRA 2013, which recognises the best practices in sustainability reporting within Corporate Malaysia.

Themed ‘Diversity and Inclusion’, this year’s ACCA Awards introduces a new award category on ‘Gender Diversity’ to recognise organisations that report on their best practices on gender diversity and efforts to support women talent.

A strong supporter of ‘womenomics’ for the positive changes it brings to the talent landscape, TalentCorp champions flexible work arrangements and support facilities to ease the challenges that most women face in having to juggle personal and work responsibilities.

“We are pleased to partner with ACCA in the ACCA MaSRA 2013 as we believe that sustainability reporting is an effective means to create awareness of best practices in gender diversity and inclusion, and to persuade organisations to become women-friendly,” said Johan Mahmood Merican, CEO of TalentCorp.

Speaking at the event, Jennifer Lopez, head of ACCA Malaysia, said: “As the world’s most diverse professional accountancy body, ACCA has recognised from the onset that diversity can enhance business performance and the operation of a modern finance and accounting function. It has been our pleasure to work with TalentCorp on both the report and the Awards programme. We are very excited to bring this programme back this year because we believe that there are many unsung heroes within Corporate Malaysia whose business sense and practices have contributed greatly to the nation’s development and reputation.”

The ACCA MaSRA 2013

The ACCA MaSRA programme recognises the best practices in sustainability reporting within Corporate Malaysia. Since its inception in 2002, these Awards have served as an important platform to create awareness on corporate environment and social responsibility and benefits of reporting to business.

The Awards, now in its tenth cycle, help underline the business case for sustainable practices and development. It is open to companies from any sector, have any type of business and any number of employees. This year the panel of judges comprise:

  • Mr Goh Ching Yin*
    Executive Director, Strategy and Development, Securities Commission Malaysia
  • Ms Selvarany Rasiah
    Chief Regulatory Officer, Bursa Malaysia Berhad
  • Mr Johan Mahmood Merican
    Chief Executive Officer, Talent Corporation Malaysia
  • Mr Abdul Rauf Rashid
    Country Managing Partner, Malaysia, Ernst & Young
  • Ms Anna Taing
    Managing Editor, The Edge Communications

*Chairman of judging panel

Deadline for submissions is by 30 June 2013; the results of the Awards will be revealed in November 2013.

Past winners include Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad, UEM Environment Sdn Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Berhad, Maybank Berhad and Shell Malaysia.

For more information about the ACCA MaSRA programme, visit www.accaglobal.com/masra2013

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