Leading the way in gender diversity

PwC Malaysia has made great progress in increasing the number of women in senior management positions within the organisation. With dedicated policies in place since 2001, the firm is among the PwC global network’s most successful in terms of gender diversity.

40% of its partners and directors are women, and 60% of its managers are women (as at June 2012).

PwC Malaysia Markets Leader, Chin Suit Fang explains: “This inclusive atmosphere is the result of our emphasis on our Code of Conduct and a strong tone from the top. Our leaders have made it a personal mission to lead the way in promoting equality and to mentor promising women. Over the years, this brought about a shift in attitudes.”

Pauline Ho builds a case for gender diversity

PwC Malaysia partner, Pauline Ho is the first female Assurance leader for the firm. She is a testament of PwC’s inclusive atmosphere and commitment in developing promising women for leadership roles.

She credits the leadership team for mentoring her and giving her options to chart an enriching career path for herself.

“Our leaders make it their personal commitment to to level the playing field by encouraging and nurturing women with potential. We see this as our competitive advantage.” Pauline says.

Taking on a secondment in PwC UK after receiving her professional qualifications, was the turning point in her career. In fact, it was the clincher that made her stay on at PwC.

“I’ve always been given the chance to do very different things at PwC,” she explains. “It’s important to work for a firm that stands for values that matter to you.”

For Pauline, what’s fulfilling is the diverse roles that she has had the opportunity to undertake. Her ability to be flexible in managing her professional role as an auditor and her family commitments contributes to her success as a career woman.

“Every project is a priority because every client wants to be treated as 'Number One'. Everyone has 24 hours, but it’s how we use it that matters,” she added.

A mother to young triplets, she sets aside quality time to tell her children stories every day. Whether it is  bedtime tales or sharing what keeps her on her toes at work, storytelling is the highlight of the day for both Pauline and her children.

Pauline believes that when you find a company that resonates with you, you will perform better there. And it shows, as she continues to develop her career and the people working with her.

Giving people the opportunity to balance their work and personal lives

The WorkLife Plus Programme (WLPP) is one example of a number of initiatives that have been put in place to make progress on the issue. Aimed at addressing people's concerns about maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life, WLPP offers three options:

  • Flexible Work Arrangements–  choose to work two and a half to four days a week
  • Time-Out – allowing people to plan in advance for additional time off beyond the annual leave entitlement
  • Career Break – giving people the flexibility to apply for one to three months off for personal/professional development

In support of TalentCorp Malaysia, we're also participating in their Talent Wanita initiative to bring women back into the workforce and help them achieve their second peak.

Focusing on results, rather than face-time in the office

Mobility has become a crucial part of the client engagement experience. To empower our employees and encourage them to be productive, we have introduced FlexSpace, which allows our managers and above to choose where they work from when they are not at their client's premises. The success of this initiative is based on mutual trust and exercising personal responsibility.

Technology is also a significant enabler to work/life balance. Many of our managers and above work from their Blackberrys and iPads, which enable access to office email whether they’re working from home, at the client site or between meetings.

Under the FlexMobile initiative, they are eligible for a monthly allowance covering phone calls and broadband usage.

Forming a network for young parents in the firm

The Parents Network was initiated in April 2010 in PwC Malaysia. The network meets regularly to share tips and experiences on balancing the responsibilities of being a working parent and bringing up young children at the same time. This programme has received positive feedback and support from mothers, would-be mothers, as well as fathers.