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08/03/2019

EcoWorld Women’s Summit 2019: Reimagining Malaysia, Reshaping Future Workforce

KUALA LUMPUR: The EcoWorld Women’s Summit was introduced in 2016 in conjunction with International Women’s Day (IWD) and since then the annual event has gained traction with its current and relevant women-focused discussions. This year’s summit is anchored around the interesting theme of Reimagining Malaysia, Reshaping Future Workforce”.

The theme also resounds strongly with the international theme this year: ‘Balance for Better’, that drives equal opportunity, equal representation, and a gender-balanced world.

Held at the Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) Sales Gallery, the fourth instalment of the summit focussed on two panel discussions featuring eight panellists from diverse backgrounds sharing their experiences and perspectives as well as their personal journey on how they overcame challenges to get to the top.

This year’s summit was extra special with the attendance of YB Yeo Bee Yin, the Minister of Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment. YB Yeo was also in the second panellist discussion and gave the closing remarks.

The event kicked off with a welcome note by Eco World Development Group Berhad (EcoWorld Malaysia) President & CEO Dato’ Chang Khim Wah followed by a keynote address by EcoWorld Malaysia Director Dato’ Noor Farida Binti Mohd Ariffin. Noor Farida also moderated both panel discussions.

“This summit has brought us together for a cause we all believe in, that is championing women’s rights, equality, and a better working world. To achieve that we need to think globally and act locally.

As a country, we’ve made some headway but we can do more, we must do more, to encourage women participation in order to truly Balance for Better. We need to Reimagine Malaysia and Reshape our Workforce, only then can we step into a gender-balanced world, a better tomorrow.” said Noor Farida.

The first panel discussion had emcee and voiceover talent Dato’ Yasmin Binte Tan Sri M Yusuff, GoGet CEO Francesca Chia, Eco World Management & Advisory Services (UK) Ltd. Managing Director Anita Hughes and EcoWorld Malaysia Head of Group Legal Samantha Lee in a discussion on how collective action and shared responsibility are vital in driving a gender-balanced world.

The second panel discussion featured YB Yeo, JurisTech CEO See Wai Hun, International Women’s Rights Action Watch- Asia Pacific Founding Director Mary Shanthi Dairiam as well as Sisters in Islam Executive Director Rozana Isa. Panellists spoke about how each generation approaches challenges differently and encouraging diversity and inclusion in reshaping the workforce to propel organisations towards future growth in the “New Malaysia”.

Over 300 guests attended today’s summit, which is a continuation of a series of engagement workshops by EcoWorld for its Professional Women’s Network (PWN) which was launched on 8 March 2016 in honour of IWD.

Dato’ Chang said “We feel that the theme truly reflects the EcoWorld culture and what we aspire to do. For years since we’ve started our business, we have worked hard to achieve balance. We’ve always seen the property development field as one that’s full of men, but we’re proud that we’re able to say we’re long past the stage of pushing to hire more women, and we’ve continuously listened to the needs of Team EcoWorld and acted on the feedback to tailor our policies to the needs of the women of Team EcoWorld.”

Apart from PWN, EcoWorld has a host of initiatives and policies to ensure that the workplace is conducive and enjoyable for all employees. Amongst the many efforts rolled out include:

  • EcoWorld’s Parents’ Network. Branching out of PWN, the Parents’ Network is dedicated to help parents in areas pertaining to childcare and parenting related issues
  • Pink Possible. This initiative focuses on the health and wellbeing of employees. A series of campaigns such as Weight Management, Quit Smoking, Healthy Lunch, Cancer Awareness and Blood Donation Drive are held all year-long
  • Childcare Leave. Employees with children 12 years old and below can apply in the event their child falls sick
  • Flexible Work Arrangement. Employees can opt for Staggered Work Hours or School Holidays Work Arrangements should the need arises
  • A Supportive Physical Environment. Special parking lots are given to expectant mothers. Nursing rooms and emergency childcare rooms are also available
  • Mental Wellness. The initiative acknowledges stress at the workplace and at home. Identifying the symptoms of mental distress is vital. Trainings are carried out even for the Management to be able to act as para-counsellors when needed to.
  • Virgin Pulse Global Challenge. Employees join in on the 100-day virtual journey toward a healthier mind and body.