Puan Zainora has more than 25 years of diverse working experience and has been with the Construction Industry Development Board (“CIDB”) of Malaysia from 1998 where she is currently the State Director for CIDB Kuala Lumpur since April 2017. She is responsible to translate and implement operational duties within the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya related to construction policies and regulations of Act 520 developed by CIDB Headquarters.
In her previous portfolio as General Manager of Business at CIDB Headquarters, she was tasked to establish and maintain a construction industry information system with updated data for major indexes directly related to construction cost such as building material, machinery & equipment and labour. She also keeps track on construction contract awarded and provides economic analysis on the construction trends in the domestic market.
On the global front, she led many international initiatives to facilitate, monitor, promote and brand Malaysian companies venturing into overseas market namely the Middle East (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Syria and Iran), Europe (Turkey and UK), Central Asia (Kazakhstan), South Asia (India, Sri Lanka and Maldives) and ASEAN countries mainly on G2G relationship. She had also, among others, attended and presented papers at seminars, locally and internationally, led negotiations and represented CIDB in bilateral and regional activities.
Prior to joining CIDB, Puan Zainora had also worked as the Technical Engineering Manager with Labuan Development Authority from 1996 where she was directly involved in the enforcement and approvals process for Development Plan, Building Plan and Certificate of Fitness for various construction projects in the Federal Territory of Labuan.
In 1992, Puan Zainora was attached with the Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (“SIRIM”) where she facilitates the coordination and implementation of research grants from multilateral agencies such as Asian Development Bank and United Nations Development Programme. She also played an integral part in developing safety compliance testing for electrical and electronics products to national and international standards.
Puan Zainora graduated with Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical & Electronics) Honours Degree from Coventry University in the Midlands, United Kingdom in 1990 under the Public Services Department scholarship program. Upon graduation, she was selected to participate in the Graduate Training Program organized by the Government of Malaysia in collaboration with the GEC Group (UK) as trainee engineer under their subsidiary companies Hotpoint Ltd and GEC Plessey Telecommunication before returning home to serve the Malaysian Government.
Topic: Empowering Competent Women Workforce in the Construction Industry of Malaysia
Time: 10.00am - 10.20am
There has been much debate about whether it is economic growth that drives the construction industry rather than the industry advancing the economy. Irrespective of the position one takes regarding the relationship of the construction industry to economic growth, it does not in any way invalidate the importance of the construction industry in regards to providing the necessary infrastructures that continue to stimulate economic development. As such, an efficient construction industry is necessary for a country to attain meaningful and sustainable national development.
Malaysia is actively working towards the High Income Nation ambition by 2020. Many policies have been developed towards achieving this involving intensive transformation of our economic structure. Productivity is the primary engine of growth towards Malaysia’s high-income target. Key drivers underpinning the productivity in the construction industry – workforce, technology and processes – relates to human capital improvements to increase output per worker. Therefore, the need for manpower development is essential to improve productivity level among local and foreign workforce as well as reduce the over-reliance on foreign unskilled workers.
There is a lack of competent workforce to meet the demands of the industry. Competency-based training presents a prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of industry workforce. A structured training and development program ensures that they have consistent skill, experience and background knowledge of their scope of work.
The contribution of women in the construction industry is small. With the problem of local skill shortages which has plagued the industry for many years, the availability of the pool of unemployed women must not be overlooked. As such, women need encouragement to be present in this industry so that their thinking, decision-making and solutions are sensitive and enabling to their needs and aspirations.
Malaysian legislators and policymakers are beginning to understand the importance of removing discriminatory barriers to encourage women participation in the labour market. However, consistent measures and follow-up actions accompanied by mindset and structural changes are required to translate these policies into reality.
The empowerment of women and gender equality in the construction industry can serve to promote a new generation of competent skill workforce; as well as supervisory and managerial workforce; to be developed and supplied into the industry.