Rohani: Flexi-hours key to getting women back to work

Up and running: Idris (second left) and Rohani checking out the website after the
launch. Up and running: Idris (second left) and Rohani checking out the website after the launch.

KUALA LUMPUR: Companies offering flexible work schedules are the key to luring professional women back into the workforce, said the Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim.

Flexible work arrangements, she said, was a tried-and-true strategy used by advanced economies and offered a work-life balance that was becoming essential in attracting and retaining employees, especially mothers who wanted more time with their family.

“Employers should look at various arrangements, like job sharing among employees, working from home, and flexitime, under which employees choose when to start and end work,” she said. Rohani, who launched the flexFair job fair at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here, also congratulated the companies that had begun offering such work arrangements through the website

The 18 firms which took part in the fair organised by TalentCorp Malaysia Bhd and supported by, were Accenture, Air Asia X, CareerExcell, Convergys, Dell, Ernst & Young, HEARTS, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, Kelly OCG, Manpower, McDonald’s, PwC, QSR Brands, Scope International, Secu­rities Commission Malaysia and Telekom Malaysia.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala said flexible work times were also important for men, who were increasingly playing the part of a home maker.

“There is equal opportunity for both genders but the focus is on women as many of them leave the workforce for their families,” he said, adding that such work schedules would make it easier for parents to juggle work and family life.

Banking executive Low Mei Ling, 29, said she was looking for flexible working hours in order to spend more time with her two children, aged one and three years old.

“I have no issue if the companies offer me a lower payroll as long as the job is flexible to my time and role as a mother,” she said.

Air Asia X talent management head Faz Kamaruddin said it was offering flexible working hours for departments such as corporate communications in branding and marketing.

Head of MyStarJob Network Sdn Bhd Serm Teck Choon said the encouraging response at the fair showed that flexi-hour jobs appealed to a large workforce looking for something more substantial than internships and part-time jobs but less intensive than full-time work. is developed and managed by MyStarJob Network Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Star Publications (M) Berhad.