Digital Women: The Opportunity for Women in a Digitized World

The COVID-19 pandemic may have caused an acceleration in the digital revolution, but how has it changed the space for and role of women?

Putting a spin on the UN’s theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” AMCHAM International Women’s Day program, sponsored by Lam Research, focused on the role and opportunities for women in a digital world, spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The half-day program was filled with thoughtful, insightful, and passionate discussions through a variety of sessions from presenters, key speakers, panelists, and even the audience in the chat.

Elizabeth Silva, Assistant Director for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality at The Asia Foundation, kicked off the day by showcasing the status of women in the workforce before and after the onset of the pandemic. While there was a lot of positive growth, there’s still much to be worked on. Her presentation not only provided numbers and facts, but also practical recommendations for creating an enabling environment for women in the workplace now and moving forward.

Elizabeth was neatly followed by Sabina Dewan, Founder & Executive Director of JustJobs Network, with her presentation on the potential of ASEAN’s Digital Transformation and how women can ride that transformation. She also gave insight into how exactly the ways that technology and the digital landscape have impacted the working environment for women, as well as what can and should be done to develop with this landscape.

The two presentations set us up for our main panel discussion titled after our program: “The Opportunities for Women in a Digitized World.” Sabina stayed on, joined by Aiza Azreen Ahmad, Chief Digital Business Officer at MDEC, and Antony Lee, Chief Executive Officer at AIG Malaysia Insurance Berhad, with Kavita Satwalekar, Author, Wellness Expert, Founder & Life Coach at Inner Sense Consulting, moderating. The discussion went deeper into the subject of the impact on women due to the accelerated digital landscape, the effects on work and life, and the importance of trust going forward. All of our panelists shared personal anecdotes, achievements, and what they are doing within their businesses and industries to support and uplift women in the workplace.

The final session of the day featured Jacqui Barrat, Founder and CEO of Salt, along with Soon K. Kuek, General Manager and Senior Director of Lam Manufacturing Malaysia, and Siobhan Das, CEO of AMCHAM. Their conversation centred around the barriers women face in aspects such as the job recruitment process and promotions at work, and what changes and how to begin making them in an organization would aid in closing the gender gap in the workforce.

Overall it was a very successful event with over 100 attendees and audience participation. Special thanks to Lam Manufacturing Malaysia for sponsoring this event, and all of our guest speakers and attendees for making this event a success.