Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 29 (4) Dec. 2021 / JSSH-8103-2021


Social Inclusion and Exclusion of Women Directors in Malaysia

Kim Ling Geraldine Chan, Bahiyah Abdul Hamid and Sivapalan Selvadurai

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 29, Issue 4, December 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.4.22

Keywords: Directorships, social exclusion, social inclusion, traditional-modern values dichotomy, women directors

Published on: 13 December 2021

Modern society is currently experiencing strong influences in the 21st-century that are shaping culture, structure and various institutional features. Although modern rational value systems supersede traditional ones, some traditional and modern values still coexist. The blurring of the modern-traditional values dichotomy is the result, even now in the Malaysian corporate world, shaping corporate and economic behaviour and practices. The social inclusion and exclusion of women in board directorship are influenced by traditional values as much as modern values, hence challenging male board dominance. Based on a qualitative research methodology, this paper discusses some empirical findings. Semi-structured interviews with 17 male and female directors from public-listed (PLCs) and private companies in Malaysia found the coexistence of traditional and modern values and related aspects that have enabled women to get appointed, empowered, and sustain their appointment on the PLCs boards. Modern values like rationality, efficiency, meritocracy, professionalism, and individuality coexist with traditional personalism, trust, loyalty and patriarchy (notably male status quo dominance). These values are portrayed through hard and soft skills, technical and practical business knowledge, some personality traits and professional business and work experiences. This social inclusion and exclusion aspects will drive the rise, withdrawal, exit or even avoidance of women as company directors of PLCs in Malaysia. This blurring dichotomy argument may hold for as long as the society subscribes to the coexistence of modern and traditional values systems in modern corporate Malaysia.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

Article ID


Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Recent Articles