Why Can’t We Have It Both? A Discussion on Work-Life Balance and Women Career Advancement in Malaysia
While the labor market is dominated by women, only small number of women make it to the top. For so many reasons, some women refuse top position and refuse to stay working. This article examines the role of work-life balance and its relationship to women career advancement, and why both are important in Malaysia. Malaysian society is a collectivist society and loyalty in a collectivist culture is vital. Consequently, the collectivist nature makes Malaysians give more importance to family members and this certainly influence the career decision-making of women. The arguments are arranged based on a review of the previous literature. It is found that both work-life balance and women career advancement are important to retain women in the working world as well as to motivate them to pursue promotion to a higher position. Even though some researchers agreed that the relationship between work-life balance and career advancement is mostly negative, others found that work-life balance could improve career advancement. At the end of the paper, some suggestions on how to improve work-life balance and career advancement are presented.
2. Literature Review