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7 Questions with Tunku Rozita Malek
7 Questions with Tunku Rozita Malek
Name: Tunku Rozita Malek
Current title: Independent Director
Current organisation: Aberdeen Standard Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd
I am passionate about the advancement of women in all areas. Currently an Independent Director on the board of Aberdeen Standard Islamic Asset Management, a Global Syariah based asset management company for 10 years, I would gladly encourage and sponsor women to take on the challenge. We need the support of men for this to happen!
I am a member of the 30% club - a global business-led campaign focused on building an ecosystem of partners towards a common goal – the promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). We achieve this through working with corporates to emphasise gender balance within Boards and C-Suites as well work together towards sustainable change and progress.,
Also a member of ICDM (Institute of Corporate Directors Malaysia) a professional institution dedicated to enhancing the professionalism and effectiveness of corporate directors in Malaysia. Spearheaded by the Securities Commission Malaysia and supported by Bank Negara Malaysia, Bursa Malaysia and the Capital Market Development Fund.
I was a member of LeadWomen which was established with a mission to increase women representation in senior leadership and on the boards of corporate Malaysia. We are aligned to the UN Sustainable goal 5.5, which is to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA.
My career started in NCR (M) as a Business Manager selling ATM solutions to the financial industry. After 2 years, I started working at CIMB as a stockbroker for 17 years taking care of Institutional Investors and covering regional markets.
After leaving CIMB I became an Independent Director with Aberdeen Standard Islamic Asset Management. At the same time, I had exposure in the F&B and travel industry. Currently in the ed-tech and CRM industry.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
As an Independent Director, I am not involved in the day to day operations. What I find challenging are the compliance requirements and accounting practices that we need to keep up with. Demanding clients and retaining good talents plus hiring more women are other challenges
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
My background in investment banking helped me to be an Independent Director for an Asset Management Company. At the same time, there is also concerted effort by the government and agencies pushing for more women directors.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
As a single mother, I was lucky to get help. In Malaysia, a mid income household can afford to have a live-in help. So at least meals were taken care of. When my sons were younger, I would delegate a lot of the transportation issues and had tuition for my sons. I would come home and check their homework later in the evening and spend time with them before bedtime.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Leadership is an ongoing process. You never stop learning about your industry and dealing with different points of view
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. As women, we have more responsibilities in the household over and above our positions in the workplace. We cannot do it all and we need to ask for help. We can lead from a feminine energy and still get things done. There is still a long way to go and I am very passionate about women's empowerment.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
Leadership capacity at the Board Level is being aware and keeping up with the latest trends in the industry and globally
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
Meaningful story was when one of the C-suite men shared a crude and unwarranted banner on Greta Thunberg. She was a minor and I made sure that never happened again. This behaviour has no place in the organization