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A recent study conducted by iPrice found a lack of women leaders at the highest management levels of Malaysia’s e-commerce market.
In fact, the study found that men held 91% of C-level positions (founders, directors, chiefs, c-level) while only 9% were held by women. The disparity in Malaysia is much larger when compared to other Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Philippines & Vietnam. On that note, Vietnam & Philippines had the highest number of women in C-level positions at 23% and 21% respectively.
With the e-commerce industry in Malaysia predicted to be worth RM33 billion (US$ 8 billion) by 2025, e-commerce businesses in the country need to overcome the gender disparity. The study said: “Women currently hold a big share of Malaysia’s demographic. As of Q1 2018, the Department of Statistics Malaysia noted that 48% of the country’s population are women and men at 52%. A separate report by the Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission highlighted that 57% of online shoppers are women.”
“As such, their views should be considered at vital decision-making stages. People crafting technology have the power to influence how it works & it requires the minds of various demographic to maximise its effectiveness to all consumers. Hence, gender diversity is important for the people who make & use technology,” it continued.
Meanwhile, there is no lack of women in mid-management levels. In Malaysia’s top e-commerce platforms, 25% of women held senior vice president positions, 23% held vice president positions and 48% held head-career levels. However, while women are well represented at mid-management levels, very few carried on to reach the highest management levels.
The study suggested: “Leaders of e-commerce platforms must take active steps to retain women in every stage of the corporate ladder and create management positions specifically for women. This might include adding in benefits specifically for women such as childcare services or insurance policies for women.
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