KUALA LUMPUR: Women’s socio-economic standing has declined in the country as fewer women perceive themselves to be managers and earning above median income.
The Annual MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement has revealed a decrease in the index score from 76 in 2008 to 69.9 this year.
“This is despite Malaysia having the third-highest proportion of women enrolled in tertiary education in Asia/Pacific,” vice-president communcations Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Georgette Tan told a press briefing yesterday.
The survey covered 21 markets, with 400 respondents in each market.
According to the survey, the proportion of women to men in Malaysia considering themselves in managerial positions dropped from 66 women per 100 men in 2008 to 50 women per 100 men in 2009.
Meanwhile, the proportion of women to men considering themselves to be earning above median income also dropped from 48 women per 100 men in 2008 to 38 per 100 men in 2009.
Tan said even though women had a higher tertiary enrollment rates, this had not translated into self-worth or economic contribution.
“One possible reason is that many women today are opting to be business owners while some take time out to start a family,” she said.
The survey also revealed that more Malaysian men (39%) than women (18%) considered themselves the financial decision maker in their household.
Of the women who saw themselves as the financial decision makers for the household, 69.4% were working, with 26.9% of them considering themselves in managerial positions.
Tan said the findings of the survey was important to many businesses as it provided insights to help companies to better understand women and reach out to this important target group.
The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement measures the socio-economic level of women in relation to men using four key indicators.
Two of the indicators are based on source data from national statistics bureaus and show the ratio of female to male participation in the labour force and tertiary education.
The other two indicators are based on survey data and measure the ratio of female to male respondents’ perceptions of whether they hold managerial work positions at work and earn above median income. These subjective factors are a gauge of how empowered and valuable respondents feel at work.
Source: Article from The Star, 6 March 2009