DOHA, Oct 10 — Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Malaysian prime minister, yesterday urged women to take a more active role in their institutions and organisations in order to strengthen business ethics.
She said women could play an important role in strengthening ethics in business because their nature of being mothers and nurturers required that they imbued trust in the relationship they built and developed.
“As mothers, we have a responsibility and opportunity to imbue the right values and inculcate morally sound behaviour in our children. These are values and behaviours which will make them ethical people.
“Further, our roles that include multi-tasking between the home and the workplace demands that we deliver promises to the people who depend and count on us,” she said in a keynote address titled “Role of Women in Strengthening Business Ethics” at the Qatari Businesswomen Association’s programme at the Inside Investor Forum Asia 2012, here.
The two-day forum, organised by the international media group and consultancy Inside Investor, is a high-level business event which brings together heads of state, investors and top-level company executives from the Asean and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to identify investment opportunities in the two regions.
Rosmah said women should extend these qualities in ensuring that the companies they worked for delivered on their promises and upheld governance and ethics at all levels of the organisation at all times.
She said the rising participation of women in the global workforce also provided an opportunity for women to play a bigger role in strengthening business ethics.
“There are many reports that predict the 21st Century as the century for women. We see rising involvement of women in boardrooms and executive positions globally.”
“In March last year, Business Insider revealed that women hold 21 per cent of senior management positions globally. This study shows that women are in an advantageous position to strengthen ethics in business,” she said.
Rosmah said that in Malaysia, the government was also encouraging companies to increase the number of women on their governing boards to at least 30 per cent by 2015 and, currently, on-the-job training programmes — most of it focused on strengthening ethics in business — were being held to prepare these women for board positions.
Rosmah said business ethics was important to the company, the consumer as well as the employees and stakeholders, and for the healthy growth of an economy.
“Ultimately, ethics is about doing the right thing; not taking that which isn’t yours; not inflating expenses that you are not entitled to; not manipulating facts and figures with the intention to mislead; not compromising on quality of services and products to maximise profits; and not lying and misrepresenting the truth to look good,” she said.
Those who did not follow ethical rules might have short-term success, but would fail in the market in the long run, she added.
Rosmah said Qatari and Malaysian businesswomen associations could develop a common platform for debates and deliberations on business ethics for insights, learning and sharing experiences.
“We could organise joint programmes regularly that mutually serve both the Gulf and Asean. These could include educational and business programmes as well as exchange of talents that will strengthen business ethics in both regions.”
Meanwhile, in a separate event, Rosmah received the “Honour for Charitable Commitment and Philanthropy” award in appreciation of her dedication and commitment to charity work.
The award was presented by the vice-chairwoman of the Qatari Businesswomen Association Aisha Al-Fardan. — Bernama