The number of women in management positions in Malaysia in 2017 has fallen slightly from 2016 but it still remains top of a table at 35%, according to a survey of countries in the 2017 Hays Asia Salary Guide.

The annual Hays Asia Salary Guide released today showed Malaysia tied with China, which reported the same figure. Hays said Malaysia is ahead of Hong Kong, which came in at 33%, Singapore (31%) and Japan (22%).

Hays regional director in Malaysia Tom Osborne said Malaysia continues to stand out when it comes to the diversity of its workforce in managerial positions. “It can however do better as last year’s figure indicates,” said Osborne.

The guide, now in its tenth year, highlights salary and recruiting trends across Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, mainland China and Japan. The research is based on a survey covering 3,000 employers representing over six million employees.

With diversity a huge topic right now, it was also revealed from countries surveyed that 52% of employers report having formal diversity policies and procedures in place, but only 18% say their organisation adheres to these regulations “well” and a further 36% only “fairly well”.

Osborne said considering the challenges and opportunities expected this year, it is important that employers in Malaysia have the widest talent pool to choose from when filling roles, especially those experiencing skills shortages.

“To remain competitive in the ever changing and complex business environment, companies need to be able to bring in talent from overseas with ease when the right skill sets cannot be found locally.

“Due to changes of employment laws by governments in certain countries across Asia that support the recruitment of local candidates over foreign candidates, companies are now investing more in developing their current workforce with 36% of employers believing they do not have the talent needed to meet their current business objectives.

“The majority (53%) of employers have indicated that they have up-skilled their current workforce to counter areas of skills shortages while 39% have focused on improving their candidate attraction strategies,” he said.

TEM