The ICDM Pulse: DEI Rising
Recent years have seen gender equality become a key issue in many discussions. In Malaysia, we are close to achieving the 30% target for top 100 publicly listed companies, and as of 1 March 2023, women hold 29.7% of the board positions, compared to only 19.2% in 2017 when the target was first proposed in the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance. Furthermore, the number of public listed companies with all-male boards has declined, and of these, large-cap companies were required to have at least one female director on their boards on 1 September 2022, and all other listed companies on 1 June 2023.
At ICDM, we are also strong believers in gender diversity and have steadily advocated for more women directors being appointed. In 2022 itself, we were proud to facilitate the placement of 27 female directors via our director sourcing service and have achieved notable progress with the appointment of first-time female directors to PLCs.
Nevertheless, we realise that to ensure the true growth of leaders in uncertain business environments, all directors regardless of gender must possess exceptional business capabilities and insight. Therefore, it is important for boards to take action to accelerate capacity building with a more holistic view on diversity where people of various abilities, talents, cultures, etc., including gender are empowered and trusted. This is the key to creating true equality and where boards should be held responsible for ensuring the right culture is in place to cultivate diversity, equity and inclusion as a whole.