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74% of Malaysian parents face workplace discrimination

In Malaysia, more than seven in 10 parents suffer from workplace discrimination after having children.


Its other counter parts in Asia, namely Singapore (68%) and Philippines (67%) also reveal a high degree of workplace discrimination, according to a new survey conducted by, a global employment website.

More mums (55%) than dads (47%) found that their decision to have a family has affected their career options. Mums (55%) have also reported having more issues when returning to work as compared to dads (47%).

While Malaysian working mums are now entitled to a minimum of 8.5-week of maternity leave, around 40% of them still agree to the statement of “I don’t have enough parental leave.”

Women also found a greater need for flexibility to effectively manage their home and work lives – 82% of women and 75% of men. Despite 55% of Malaysian employees saying they do have flexible working arrangements in some capacity.

On why mothers quit their jobs, 67% of Malaysian men said it’s because women desire to spend more time with their families, compared to 56% of women who said the same.

In fact, this data sparks questions as to whether women in South East Asia continues to be outnumbered by men due to the society’s predominant expectation.

According to United Nations Women, limits on women’s participation in the workforce across the Asia-Pacific region cost the regional economy an estimated US$89 billion every year.

It comes as no surprise when most women in the survey said they believe mothers leave their jobs due to a lack of flexibility (66%), indicating that current policies around flexible working don’t provide the support needed.

But women are not the only ones quitting. According to the survey both genders (72% of women and 63% of men) have expressed the desire to search for a new job over the next 12 months.

"Working parents are desperate for more choices and options, and Malaysian employers need to listen to their requests, or better communicate how they can take advantage of what is on offer to them.” Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO of – APAC & Gulf.

When it comes to the key drivers in a new job, work-life balance appeared in the top three factors for Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines, shedding light on the growing importance towards life outside of work among Asian parents in SEA.

This research was conducted for the third consecutive year as part of the #SheMakesItWork campaign in celebration and support of mothers in the workforce, or returning to work after having children.

The research surveyed over 2,000 professionals across Malaysia (799), Singapore (540), and the Philippines (899) to understand the unique challenges and barriers both men and women face at work, particularly with regards to parental leave and work-life balance.

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