04 Oct 2017 06:09:17 PM

GAMUDA’s Director of Group HR and Admin on building a sustainable diversity and inclusion policy

GAMUDA Berhad is no stranger to the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) agenda. The engineering, property and infrastructure company took home ‘Best Initiative’ at TalentCorp’s LIFE@WORK Awards 2016 with its “Project Differently-Abled” programme, which is aimed to provide sustainable employment and career development for individuals with autism. 

With such forward-thinking policies in place, it is only natural that GAMUDA places equal importance on practices that empower women, which they believe to be an untapped source of talent.  

At TalentCorp’s Career Comeback Fair 2017, representatives from GAMUDA, one of the 29 participating companies at the event, met and spoke to women attendees who were ready to take the first step back into the workforce.  

We spoke to Lai Tak Ming, GAMUDA’s Director of Group HR and Administration on why he believes that it is crucial for companies to adopt win-win practices such as GAMUDA’s Women Career Comeback Programme. 
Women who have worked before, are more than ready to work again,” 

Explains Tak Ming, referencing to the ready pool of qualified talent, whom he believes are also more resilient. 

“They already have experience and they know what they are doing,” he continues. “They are ‘more-ready’ to take on the challenges ahead.” 

 A solid D&I agenda requires the involvement of an entire organisation to make it work. How does GAMUDA ensure that everyone in the company is on board? Tak Ming shares,

Firstly, the need to inculcate the rationale – the why. This is where the men in our group needs to be appreciative of the differences and the value that diversity brings to an organisation.”
"Then, there needs to be policy foundations that enhances the initiative to mandate the actions. Finally, comes the enablers in the form of benefits and structures. For example, we have our Women@Work programme, which is a set of benefits provided for women returnees to continue to work while having a family. Additionally, other initiatives like Flexible Working Arrangement, three months maternity leave with option to extend to six months, are other means to help make it possible for women to have a career and a family."
This, he adds, are attempts to ensure the philosophy that GAMUDA has on D&I policies are not just mandated, but put into practice.  

Admittedly there are challenges that women returnees face, such as keeping up with the latest trends in the industry. Tak Ming offers this, “The key elements we look for in women returnees are their readiness and how quickly they can adapt.” 

At the end of the day, we want someone who is ready to come back. We want candidates who can say, ‘I am ready and I am hungry to be back’.”

Watch Lai Tak Ming's view on Career Comeback below:
The Career Comeback Programme offers professional women the opportunity to relaunch their career after a long hiatus.

Find out how this programme can help you to return to the workforce at our website