During the introduction of Budget 2022 on Friday, the Malaysian government stated that it wanted more women on the boards of directors of publicly traded firms.
All big firms will be required to have one female director on their board by September 2022, and all other listed companies by January 2023, said Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
"Women's contributions to society as a whole cannot be denied and must be revered and strengthened. Of the top 100 listed companies, only 25 per cent of their board of directors are women. There are still 252 companies under Bursa Malaysia that still have no women representation.
"To acknowledge women's role in making decisions the government as well as the Securities Commission is making it compulsory to have at least one woman in all public-listed companies.
"This suggestion is expected to take effect on September 1, 2022, for large companies, June 1, 2023, for all other listed companies," he said.
RM5 million would also be given to Yayasan Pimpinan Wanita, or the Female Leadership Foundation, to organise leadership and business programmes for women.
These programmes, he added, are focused on assisting women in growing their businesses online and from home.
To support these endeavours, RM232 million will be allocated through the DanaNITA programme which is a Special Business Financing Scheme for Women run by the government.