Why stage a career comeback? Women make up 62% of our public university graduates in Malaysia. However, as the years go by, the number of women still working drop at a much more significant rate than men. The average decline rate is -22% for women compared to -5% for men, 30 years after hitting age 25-29, according to Khazanah Research Institute.
This means Malaysia loses a significant amount of experienced and capable female talent at their prime. In a survey recently conducted by Lean In Malaysia, 67% held managerial (or higher) roles when they first took a career break. 60% of these women left primarily because of motherhood demands or caregiver responsibilities.
Returning To Work
The prospects of returning to the workforce can be daunting: the top two greatest struggles faced by career breakers is in loss of personal confidence and lacking relevant networks after the years of absence. The third greatest challenge they face is lack of clarity in their goals. It is no surprise then that 29% of women are unsuccessful in returning at all, and among those who do return, 2 in every 5 of them took seven months or more to get work. 44% employers see a career break as a red flag, and women also lose their professional currency and earning power after taking a pause in their careers — More than half received a salary package less than their previous salary, and not even half of them received job offers that actually reflected their skills, experience and seniority.
What You Can Do
Lean In Malaysia addressed these problems in 2017 through its 2nd instalment of LICP, themed ‘Relaunching Careers for Women’. Combining workshops, mentoring, coaching, and networking, 71% determined women successfully received work experience after partaking in LICP 2.0. This result reaffirmed the pressing need for similar inclusive career returners programmes that provide Malaysian women with the opportunity and tools to return to, and excel within today’s job market.
Lean In Malaysia is launching the fourth edition of its signature career accelerator, Lean In Career Programme (LICP). Themed ‘Career Comeback’, this programme targets skilled and experienced female professionals who have been absent from the workforce for over a year.
LICP 4.0: Career Comeback returns this year, commencing on 17 August and will run over the course of 9 weeks. Participants will receive one-on-one mentorship with a senior industry leader, experiential masterclass series, and valuable networking opportunities with our supporting companies. Our partners and supporters have included Talent Corp, Australian High Commission, 7 Eleven, Lazada, Eco World, Crowe, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Maxis, Hays, UEM, Google, Shell, PWC, Magic, Fave, MDEC, Axiata, Nestle, Naluri, SP Setia, Rev Asia and many more. For more information, go to Lean In Malaysia
Applications for LICP 4.0 are now open. Click here to register. Interested women should submit an application by 15 July. Shortlisted candidates will be accepted on a rolling basis, so interested individuals should apply early to avoid disappointment.