Photo (above): Shankar Nagalingam (left), APAC HR director, talent management and Vimi at the Life At Work Awards 2015.
The appointment of Vimaleswari Ramasamy (fondly known as Vimi) in January 2015 as the first Malaysian female managing director at the Penang-based “Centre of Excellence” for IHS Malaysia is a testament that diversity is top of mind at this MNC. The University Science of Malaysia alumni speaks with great enthusiasm about her role; and being a pioneer in her field is nothing new to Vimi as she was also the first female test equipment development engineer when she started her career at a large MNC in Penang.
Since joining IHS, Vimi has spearheaded various programmes to encourage women to grow and develop in their careers and to promote a diverse and inclusive working environment at IHS.
Vimaleswari Ramasamy, managing director, IHS Global Malaysia
Diversity in the workforce at IHS
- Women make up 54% of IHS workforce in Malaysia, with recruitment of women maintained at more than 50% in 2013 and 2014.
- Over 50% of newly promoted staff in Malaysia are women.
- Women’s Mentoring Circle targeting women managers and high potential women to build a circle of women leaders who can tap on each other’s experiences and thrive together. Each mentoring circle is sponsored and run by a senior leader who meets with their mentees every other week.
- Set up the High Potential Senior Women Leaders Cohort sessions which aim to understand the needs of women employees and create specific programmes to develop them to take up leadership roles.
- Diversity Training is provided for leaders to create awareness and understanding of diversity issues and to promote a better appreciation towards the need for diversity.
- Diversity Focus Group is set-up to introduce diversity in the office. This takes into consideration that people are more inclined to express their opinions about sensitive issues in small groups.
- Various flexible work arrangements, family friendly facilities and work-life benefits are made available to allow employees manage work-life integration, increase productivity and maintain employee engagement.
- Through various initiatives, IHS Malaysia successfully promotes a diverse and inclusive corporate culture.
- An innovative Career Comeback Programme to facilitate women returnees to return to the workforce, co-funded by TalentCorp.
- ICARE consultants (career returnees) are an extension of the Global Direct Sourcing team.
- IHS to provide necessary support including technical and product training, and assigning them to mentors and buddies to facilitate them back to work.
- ICARE consultants are given the flexibility in working hours and work location.
- ICARE consultants get paid based on their deliverables, measured by the number of shortlisted resumes and successful hires.