Why 40% Of Pregnant Women Experience Discrimination At Work

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) is calling on women who have experienced gender discrimination at work to speak up and share their stories. WAO recently launched the ‘Invisible Women’ campaign, to amplify the voices of women who have experienced gender discrimination in the workplace. Women can share their stories — anonymously, if they prefer — through the campaign microsite, invisiblewomen.com.my.

“A WAO survey revealed that 40% of pregnant women experience discrimination at work. We now want to put stories to this statistic. To show the tangible impact of gender discrimination on women’s lives,” says WAO President, Carol Chin.

“The ‘Invisible Women’ campaign illustrates how women often feel overlooked at work,” says Iska Hashim, Group Creative Director of Leo Burnett, the creative partner of the campaign.

Alongside Head of Design, James Seet, Hashim led a team of creatives who were excited to contribute to the cause.

“On one hand, society kind of expects women to have kids,” notes Leo Burnett copywriter Pia Dhaliwal. “But professionally, there isn’t always support for women who do so. Quite the opposite, sometimes.”

“Women get asked at job interviews if they plan to have children. Or they’re sidelined at work if they get pregnant. Or they struggle to re-enter the job market if they take time off to raise kids,” explains Leo Burnett art director Lee Shyyi.

The campaign therefore aims to bring visibility to those stories.

“We want a groundswell of women sharing their stories, to show how widespread gender discrimination is — and why we need better laws,” says Chin.

“Currently, there is no law that specifically prohibits gender discrimination in the private sector.”

“Our end goal is to advocate for a Gender Equality Act, which would protect against gender discrimination. We need the public’s input and support to push for this act.”

“When we share our stories, we also find that we’re not alone. We create a sense of solidarity. Think of this campaign as a #MeToo for gender discrimination,” concludes Chin.

The campaign will culminate in an art exhibition, featuring women’s stories, on 8-18 March 2018 at the White Box Theatre, Publika. The campaign is supported by the British High Commission.

Call the WAO Hotline at 03 7956 3488 or SMS/Whatsapp TINA at 018 988 8058 if you or someone you know is experiencing abuse. For more information, visit wao.org.my.