2013 International Women's Day

PwC highlights what can be done to help young women reach leadership positions

KUALA LUMPUR, 8 March 2013 – In conjunction with International Women’s Day today, PwC is supporting a book about developing talented junior women for future leadership roles. The findings will be discussed at events in Dublin, London and New York.

The book Rising Stars – Developing Millennial Women as Leaders looks at what organisations can do to create the right environment for millennial women to flourish in the workplace.

Written by Dr. Elisabeth Kelan, an Associate Professor in the Department of Management at King's College London, the book is unique as it brings together gender, generation and leadership development issues to explore how these three areas work together – helping us to better understand how millennial women can be developed into the leaders of tomorrow.

This complements other studies carried out by PwC on managing millennial talent and diversity, which is closely linked to talent.

“Diversity is one of our key priorities at PwC Malaysia. We actively recruit talents from various disciplines every year, including promising young women. About 60-70% of our entry level graduates are female,” says PwC Malaysia Managing Partner, Sridharan Nair.

“Women representation is important for us because they bring a different approach to problem solving, decision making and people management. This is why the PwC global network is keen to support Dr. Kelan’s research. We want to better understand what’s important for these women and what can be done to further their careers, so that we can support and mentor them in their development,” he adds.

Some highlights of the PwC-supported book ‘Rising Stars’, published by Palgrave Macmillan, include:

  • Networks are very important for career progression
    These networks should include both men and women so they can learn from one other. This ties in with the role of sponsors and mentors at PwC Malaysia, where our leaders take a personal interest in identifying female talent, and support and guide them through their career progression.
  • Millennial women will on average have about five to nine different careers
    It’s important for them to constantly adapt to the labour market and keep learning to update their skills. Feedback is very important to achieve this goal. Particularly ‘feeding forward’, which is information on how they can become better in the future.
  • Millennial women find it very important to have enough leisure time
    But in many organisations, a long working hours culture prevails. In response to our people’s growing need for flexibility and work/life balance, PwC Malaysia has several flex initiatives including FlexSpace which allows our people to choose where they work from, and flexible working arrangements where some may opt to work two and a half to four days a week.
  • Many organisations don’t use technology to its full potential
    Millennial women don’t understand why they are required to be in the office from nine to five. Technology can be an enabler to better work/life balance. At PwC Malaysia, many of our people work from their iPads, using the Good for Enterprise app, which enables access to office email whether they’re working from home, at the client site or between meetings.

PwC Malaysia has been organising events to engage and inspire our people in conjunction with International Women’s Day for the past five years. The events, which focus on diversity as a whole, extend to involve our men as well. For example, this year, a panel of speakers will share how they juggle parenthood, their passions, and work commitments.

Everyone plays a role in helping young women grow in their careers. People engagement activities and initiatives like these, help our people understand and champion this business priority to build more female leaders for the future.

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Notes to editor:


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About Elisabeth Kelan
Elisabeth Kelan, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management at King's College London. She has written numerous academic articles and two books. The Times featured her as one of the management thinkers to watch and her research was reported in the Financial Times, ABC News, Die Zeit and El País amongst others. She sits on the advisory boards of the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles and the National Society of High School Scholars Foundation. She is an associate editor of the journal Gender, Work and Organization and is on the editorial board of the British Journal of Management. She previously worked at London Business School and holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


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