Continuous education, upskilling, reskilling and cross skilling are important to ensure women are continuously equipped with the ability to remain at the top of leadership, said the Prime Minister’s wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also the Girl Guides Association of Malaysia president, said women must ensure that their participation in leadership positions is due to their possession of appropriate skills and not just to fill quotas.

“Choosing women should not be a matter of obligation by regulations. We women should be the preferred choice due to our capabilities,” she said in her opening address for the Asia Pacific Region Intergenerational Leadership Roundtable here today.

The former deputy prime minister said when talking about the participation of women in leadership positions, there should be partnerships between leaders of different generations where each can learn from the other.

“Those of us who are more experienced should be allies and role models to emerging leaders,” she said.

Dr Wan Azizah said government initiatives to increase female participation in leadership positions cannot be achieved in silo and collaboration with multiple stakeholders is needed to reach the goal.

In a lighter vein, Dr Wan Azizah said she happened to personally know the first female deputy prime minister, adding, “I think that if she can break the glass ceiling, so can you.”

When met by reporters later, she said collaborations among the old and new generations as well as countries could improve the position of women in leadership.

The roundtable, which runs from June 11-14, is co-hosted by the Asia Pacific Region World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and supported by Temasek Foundation. It is aimed at sparking conversations and formulating strategies in practising intergenerational leadership for a sustainable and thriving region.

A total of 230 participants, aged 18 to 30, including delegations from 15 countries, are attending the roundtable.

Among the countries represented are Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, the Maldives, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Meanwhile, the founder of Friends of Asia Pacific World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, Datuk Dr Juseon Byun, said she regarded Malaysia as a pioneer in women’s leadership training.

“And under the leadership of Dr Wan Azizah, I am sure Malaysia Girl Guides Association will further grow and make more progress in leadership training,” she told reporters.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency