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Action plan: How Maybank is driving greater diversity on the leadership bench

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Nora Abd Manaf, Group Chief Human Capital Officer/Group EXCO, Maybank, affirms how diversity is monitored via the GIDA framework and the leadership scorecard at the banking giant.

A recent Bloomberg report found Malaysia’s large banks have been found to have the highest board representation for women across the Southeast Asian region, outpacing peers in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines where the proportion is below 20%.

In light of this finding, and Malaysia’s mandate for increasing women’s participation in boards of the top 100 companies to 30% by 2020, Aditi Sharma Kalra speaks to one of Asia’s leading banking groups, Maybank to identify just what it takes to advance the D&I agenda.

We know Maybank has taken conscious steps to work on diversity and it seems to be paying off! What’s the current board representation percentage, and what’s your target?

I am proud to say that Maybank is able to help advance Malaysia’s national agenda for gender diversity and inclusion.

We are very much aligned with the national target and aspirations for representation of women on Board, and we have as of now, four women amongst our 11 board members, with Maybank appointing the first woman Chairman on the country’s largest public listed main board company in 2017. As at 31 December 2018, our female representation at the Board level was at 36%, well above the 30% target.

We have worked hard on our Maybank Group’s Inclusiveness and Diversity Agenda (GIDA), and I am pleased to see this commitment reflected at the highest level. Women representation at senior management stands at 38% and in management at 46%, reaping outcomes from programmes and initiatives that were pursued since 2009.

Since 2014, these are monitored via Maybank’s GIDA framework which is monitored through measures reflected on the Group EXCO scorecard outlining our commitment to ensure a sustainable commitment to have different nationalities, varying age groups, and socio-economic levels in our workforce.

Running up to 2020, what conscious steps does Maybank continue to take to improve diversity across all levels?

Knowing where we are at is a critical start to being able to address any gaps, and Maybank achieves this visibility via its People Dashboard, a discipline emplaced since 2009.

Our focus saw an increase of women in management positions from 37% in 2008 to 46% in 2018, and women in senior management rose from 11% in 2008 to 38% in 2018.

Maybank has already made tangible developments from the start of our people transformation journey since then to ensure Maybank and Maybank employees embrace diversity and inclusion. With the introduction of Maybank’s GIDA, as mentioned, efforts were accelerated and sustained, and the framework is monitored through measures reflected on the Group EXCO scorecard.

Maybank’s Diversity and Inclusion Policy governs all aspects of employment practices. It clearly prohibits discrimination or harassment and is based on the rule of meritocracy. These values are embedded in our HR strategy and policies and are practised in our dealings with all stakeholders. Maybank’s GIDA also frames the aspirations of the development of women talent in the Group.

One of Maybank’s human capital priorities is to focus on driving greater diversity on the leadership bench by increasing women representation in management positions.

The higher women representation at senior levels is a result of focused efforts, including incorporating targets in the Maybank talent review and succession planning process, which set out to identify and surface women talents and successors for talent programmes, as well as to assume larger responsibilities.

Our focus saw an increase of women in management positions from 37% in 2008 to 46% in 2018, and women in senior management rose from 11% in 2008 to 38% in 2018.

And because we are a catalyst in driving transformation and higher all-round performance, we will continue to further upskill employees, regardless of gender, so they can all keep up with the digital shift and advance talent for significantly higher business performance.

It is about relevance and enabling exponential growth for our people across the Bank.

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