Inside RHB Bank's push to improve gender equity in leadership
One of Malaysia's top banks is paving the way for gender equality through a custom leadership program for women.
RHB Bank, together with Melbourne Business School and Malaysian social enterprise LeadWomen, has designed a Women in Leadership League program to empower and inspire women in taking the centre stage for being agents of change and leadership.
The program, which began in March, aims to provide a safe space for women to develop their leadership skills and share career challenges, experiences, and strategies. By September, 25 high-potential women had graduated from the six-month program.
Jeffrey Ng – Managing Director of Group Community Banking, RHB Banking Group and sponsor of the WiLL program for 2021 – is a huge believer in the organisational benefits of diversity, as he was inspired and shaped by various strong women in his life.
"I have been blessed to be influenced by strong women in my life, my mother was my early influencer and I have had the opportunity to work under some great women leaders throughout my career," he says.
Mimi Farina Mohd Rosli, a wealth management banker and Chapter Lead in RHB's ASNB Financing team, says the program has given her the opportunity to obtain first-hand insights and thoughts from valuable international facilitators, speakers and local mentors.
"Having this program shows the high importance that RHB places on creating equal opportunity and diversity within the organisation," she says.
"A highlight for me is the mentorship program, where participants get the chance to get up-close and personal with some of the best leaders in the country.
"The program will definitely benefit RHB by supporting the development and advancement of women to achieve their full potential and establish solid networks within and outside the organisation."
Adlah Ahmad, pictured above, is the Regional Director of the East-Coast Region of RHB's Retail Banking arm. She says the program has helped broaden her perspective and changed her thought process in decision-making.
"Each and every individual is facing almost the same challenges, and there's so much support out there, and you just have to reach out.
"The way I now approach things is to reflect on what I learned from the program before I make a decision – looking at things not only from my point of view but also the view of others."
Speaking about her experience on the program, Jing Ying, Senior Business Development Lead in Community Banking and Retail Business Development, says the program has helped reaffirm her aspirations.
"I am now more compassionate and aware of the struggles other women are going through in the workplace and their personal life – and by consciously supporting other women, we can make the world a better place."
Having women in leadership roles helps to bring a different point of view, says Mr Ng, which can drive innovation and offer a balance that organisations need in responding to dynamic environments.
"At RHB, we embrace diversity. We are focused on ensuring that we have a great representation of gender and background, especially women at management levels," he says.
"We believe that diversity will drive innovation which in turn will propel the progress of the organisation as a whole."
To learn more about how Melbourne Business School could help your organisation reach its goals, visit the For Organisations page. For individuals, we also offer the Women in Leadership Program and Women in Senior Leadership Program short courses.