KUALA LUMPUR- The inability to balance family commitments and work responsibility has kept women away from the job market, a Wanita MCA survey found.
Other reasons include stress, low wages and gender discrimination in climbing the corporate ladder.
The survey on the socio-economic position of urban women was carried out among 1,114 women of all races in 27 parliamentary constituencies the MCA contested in during the 13th general election.
The survey was conducted for Wanita MCA by the party's think tank, the Institute of Strategic, Analysis and Policy Research (Insap) and covered the Federal Territory, Perak, Selangor and Johor.
Wanita MCA chairman Datuk Heng Seai Kie revealed the findings of the survey here yesterday.
"There is generally low work satisfaction among working women in Malaysia, with only 25.7 per cent of the respondents saying they have a career they desired. And almost half of the women said they saw their work more as a job than a career," said Heng.
On the biggest sacrifices they had to make, more than half of the respondents pointed to long working hours and having to be on duty during weekends.
The survey also showed that working women below 40 received an average monthly income of RM1,818. This compared to the average monthly wages of RM1,881 earned by those above 40.
"This indicates that older women are not paid as per their work experience, accumulated skill and maturity," said Heng.
Regarding gender discrimination, she said although 33 per cent experienced this when it comes to promotion, they agreed it was not a barrier when it comes to looking for a job.
Heng said issues that worried most of the women surveyed were corruption, lack of governance, moral guidance and rapid societal change.
She said a report of the survey would be submitted to the Government to help it draw up strategies in helping the development of women and to design outreach programmes catering to their needs in the surveyed constituencies.