International Women’s Day 2019: Game On For Fair Play
#BalanceforBetter is the theme for International Women’s Day 2019, which is observed each year on March 8. This year’s initiative steers the path to a shared future built on diversity and inclusion.
The initiative includes reducing the global pay gap between men and women and making sure all are equal – and balanced – on construction sites, boardrooms and beyond.
As we work to keep the momentum for positive change, we need to strike that balance to think equal, build smart and innovate for a change. And, it is even more so now with the growing youth in the workforce.
“I believe the youth are best placed to ensure that we prepare for the future and also lead today. So, the point in which more and more young people become empathetic and collaborate with different races, genders, and religion. That’s where we create a more conducive environment for the nation. While we may not be able to change the hearts and minds of those who have been indoctrinated in their ways for decades. The young people are the bastions of hope,” shared YB Tuan Syed Saddiq, Minister of Youth and Sports.
Gamuda is recognised as a forward-looking organisation that drives gender diversity within the construction and property industry, hitting above 30 percent at the board level. Gamuda is leading the change in elevating women in its workforce in both engineering and non-technical areas.
“From start, we’ve always had women engineers. As you know, we give out scholarships too, and that’s across gender. We don’t discriminate between women or men. Because of this, we already have an existing diverse workforce. Our outlook has been to get the workforce based on merits,” YTM Raja Dato’ Seri Eleena, Gamuda’s Non-Independent and Non-Executive Director chimes in.
Despite hitting that milestone within the company, like tech and cybersecurity, the construction industry as a whole is one of the most notoriously male-dominated professions.
“Now, it requires greater diversity and input by both genders. Leaders in the industry like Gamuda, has a board of more than 30 percent women who are thriving which clearly breaks whatever misconceptions that say women cannot lead and women should not be placed in leadership positions in male-dominant industries like the construction industry,” shared the Youth and Sports Minister.
The path to a shared future is built on diversity and inclusion. And, it is beyond making the workplace more conducive. Gamuda is leading the change in elevating women in both the engineering and non-technical environment by starting to implement initiatives like flexi-work arrangements, childcare subsidies, childcare leave, extended maternity leave and creche.
“Now, technology is involved. The industry is also more digital. These innovative changes are still engineering-based but it takes you off-site. So, there is a lot more that women can look forward to especially for the new generation. It’s a different approach not just in Gamuda but in Malaysia and throughout the world, ”YTM Raja Dato’ Seri Eleena says in a voice of hope.