Are Men More Qualified To Be At The Top Than Women?

Nowadays, women can be seen working in the corporate world, striving their way up in roles usually dominated by men. Although women in the past didn’t get much chance to have jobs, time has shown that women of our generation can be more than just housewives. We are bolder than ever in creating names for ourselves and constantly eager to make a mark in the world.

However, is there an equality of men and women when it comes to top level management employees? Taking a look at the entertainment industry, BBC’s highest-earning presenters revealed an imbalance between the numbers of men and women at the top in its annual report. Television presenter, Chris Evans made between £2.2m – £2.25m (RM11.68m – RM11.94m) while his female counterpart Claudia Winkleman earned between  £450,000 – £500,000 (RM 2.3m – RM2.65m).

Hmm.. that’s a huge difference. Other than the obvious pay gap, a survey revealed that 90% of women preferred male as bosses, because society stereotypically perceive women as less effective leaders who tend to have less emotional control.

In 2018, Malaysia  ranked 104 out of 144 countries under the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report. While it shows that gender inequality is an obvious issue in this country, we wonder if Malaysian females are aware of it. So we asked Malaysian women a simple question, “Do you think Malaysia is balanced in terms of gender-roles in the top management level of your industry?”

Here are their answers:

1. Nik Munirah 

Industry: News & Current Affairs

“Of course. From my observation, female presenters are given more opportunities. Not that the top management really decided so, but it’s what the audience in Malaysia prefers. Like in my case, I used to deliver weather forecast in primetime news — there were only female presenters to carry that particular task.

For male presenters however, the audience really know who they are as a person compared to female presenters. Meaning, they are known by names. I guess being charismatic and funny works. For example, my mom recognises and in fact REMEMBERs most of the male presenters and can even point them out by names like Kamaruddin Mape, Malek Raiyani, Sheikh Zainuddin, Ramzan and Izwan Azir Saleh.

But to me personally, there has to be a balanced performance of both genders in order to make the show (news) more lively. That’s also another reason why Buletin Utama is Malaysian’s favourite.”

2. Shiva Ruppeni 

Industry: Radio

“Working in a traditional media that’s currently evolving to the digital world, it’s evident that mostly experienced men fill up top management roles. It could also be because they are the only ones qualified enough for those roles, seeing there is a higher probability they would have had better opportunities to learn compared to their female counterparts in the past.

However in my company there are more women in management than men – imbalanced but strikes a big difference in empowering future female leaders. I feel less fear embracing a management role seeing that my female bosses have already paved the way for me.”

3. Michelle Sarah Nathan 

Industry: Publishing & Media

“In the line of work that I’m involved with, there is a mixture of female and male, who are equally goal driven. Gender was never a problem however majority were female that are employed due to the attention to details that females give. If males could give the same detailed work as females, the company would look into hiring them.

In terms of pay, it is according to the position that they hold and not because of gender. Hence, in the industry that I work in, equality is very visible. Also guys can’t handle so much drama being surrounded by so many ladies in the department.”

4. Suzanne Azavedo

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Industry: Finance

“There was a meeting that I attended in Sri Lanka, where there’s only 5 men out of 18 people. To me personally, I feel that there’s almost this sense of equality. The opinions of women are starting to be taken seriously because they have become more outspoken and stand strong in their point of view.

Also when it comes to paychecks, gender should never be an issue when it comes to how much pay one should receive. Never, I insist.”

5. Emma Phoon 

Industry: Events Management

“For me, there’s not much difference because the culture is almost similar. Perhaps not in the gender role perspective, but if you’re talking about nationality,  there’s definitely some “challenges” for Malaysians working in Singapore. ”

6. Shobana Ganeswaran

Industry: Fitness

“I believe both male & female trainers are given the opportunity they deserve based on their experience, achievements & capabilities to contribute in the fitness training industry. In my opinion, sexism or gender discrimination does not exist in the fitness training industry in Malaysia and i’ll confidently say that this industry does not recognize female athletes, trainers and educators as the “weaker” or “less capable” individuals”.

7. Fatin Nabilah 

Industry: Modelling

“Basically, there are more female models as compared to male models in the modelling industry. The only thing is that they prefer foreign male models because of their looks. But in terms of payment rates, we’re paid the same”.

8. Sue-Anne Cheong

Industry: Accounting

“To be honest, it’s going to be hard to be able to identify whether companies in Australia prefer men or women more. There are pretty strict laws put in place to manage such discrimination. If caught, it is a BIG thing here”.

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