More working women could potentially raise Malaysia's GDP by as much as RM9b

Shareen: Improving employee well-being, increasing employee productivity and enhancing talent retention are the top reasons firms offer work-life practices.

-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 9): More women in the workforce could potentially increase Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) by between RM6 billion and RM9 billion as they are recognised as a pivotal resource to drive economic growth as highlighted in the Budget 2018 announcement, said Talent Corp Malaysia Bhd.

"Malaysian women show a labour force participation rate of just over 54%. However, they tend to exit the workforce in their late 20s to early 30s, usually due to family commitments," said its chief executive officer Shareen Shariza Abdul Ghani in a statement today.

According to a recent survey by TalentCorp, it was found that 90% of organisations believe work-life practices (WLPs) are a key strategy for addressing workforce needs of the future.

"The preliminary Life At Work survey findings also showed that 80% of organisations agree that work-life balance contributed to improved productivity," said Shareen.

"Improving employee well-being, increasing employee productivity and enhancing talent retention are the top reasons firms offer WLPs," she added.

Shareen noted that however, the survey findings found that the level of adoption is lacking when it comes to WLPs such as extended maternity leave which involve a broader reach, additional capital outlay and a certain amount of coordination.

"Employers also benefit from better talent retention as top employees going through new phases in life (such as starting a family) are happy to stay in companies that choose to adapt to their evolving circumstances. This reduces the need to recruit and train new employees," she said.

To this, Shareen pointed out that women make up half the nation's population and account for over 55% of enrolment in local universities.