Pertama Ferroalloys committed to empower women in a male-denominated industry

Credit Source: New Sarawak Tribune, 2023

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BINTULU: Pertama Ferroalloys Sdn Bhd has initiated enhanced benefits for its female staff in efforts to setting path for international female development culture standards in Sarawak.

Pertama Ferroalloys general manager Yuki Nakamura said the company currently comprises a total 641 employees and 66 of them are females which makes up only 10 percent of the company’s workforce.

He said the company’s ambition is to increase its female employee ratio to 20 to 30 percent in the coming years.

“Approximately 70 percent of university students in Sarawak are females, hence it is important that we could identify these talents and provide necessary trainings for them. This is because we want to boost their confidence in the hopes of empowering them to take up more managerial roles in the company.

“Our company recently initiating enhanced benefits for our female staff. The benefits include enhanced maternity and increased paternity leave, newborn baby incentives, flexible working arrangements for pregnant mothers, female wellness room, as well as flexible working hour systems for all employees,” he said.

Nakamura disclosed that the company had organised its second Female Employee Forum in which discussion and feedback session between Pertama’s higher ups and female employees.

He said the objective of the forum was to listen to female employees’ concerns, with the goal of taking on the lead on developing new female culture and development in Sarawak.

The forum had led to discussions and agreements on looking into the feasibility of implementing several new benefits, including an additional 10 days of childcare leave, female health screenings, the development of the company’s childcare centre, workshops on team building and competency development for female employees, and more.

“Many female employees face unique work-life challenges, such as maternity, childcare responsibilities, and more. Therefore, Pertama wishes that through the enforcement of this programme, its female staff could feel cared and valued for, thus helping them strive in their careers.

“As such, I would like to seek for the state government understanding and support to push the female culture development, since I believe that Sarawak is still in its initial stage when it comes to equality in supporting their families, compared to international standards. Pertama should demonstrate a good example in implementing such advanced female employee benefits,” he said.