Breaking the glass ceiling | Peripheral markets


Commitment and foresight are key ingredients in finding professional success.

Knowing the end goal and having a roadmap to achieve it can ensure job satisfaction.

“There is no glass ceiling for those who are really great at their jobs,” says Tan Lay Keng FCPA (Aust.), Ernst & Young (EY) partner and head of personal counseling services at the ASEAN (NOT).

“Plan your career early and get the skills you need to be successful.

Tan Lay Keng FCPA (Aust.), Partner Ernst & Young (EY) and Head of ASEAN People Advisory Services (PAS)

“For women who want a career break, for example starting a family, getting a head start in their career makes even more sense.”

For Lay Keng, the right qualification includes the CPA program, a globally recognized postgraduate degree that teaches the skills needed to reach the next level of leadership, management, strategy and critical thinking in a global business environment.

“The opportunities are created by you,” says EY Diversity and Inclusion Champion, who describes herself as a human person.

“A good professional qualification is a non-negotiable pre-requisite if you plan to go far in your career.

“I got my CPA degree as soon as I started working over 30 years ago and have since held various positions at EY, from Integrated Mobility Leader in Malaysia, China Overseas Investment Network (COIN) Leader for Malaysia, CFO for EY Malaysia and most recently the PAS leader of ASEAN. “

Lay Keng believes that the CPA program not only tests understanding and understanding of key accounting principles, but also develops the ability to think strategically, which is a key differentiator between an average performer and an excellent one.

“Women should believe in themselves and keep working on their vision,” she says.

“I am passionate about driving change and making a difference. “

Obtain a competitive advantage

Opportunities for women to advance in their careers are abundant when they are armed with the confidence, the right skills and the hard work to pursue their dreams, agrees Koh Ree Nie FCPA (Aust.), Member of the Division Council of CPA Australia Malaysia and audit partner at KPMG Malaysia, where she has worked for almost 20 years.

Koh Ree Nie FCPA (Aust.), Audit Partner at KPMG Malaysia

“My personal journey, like that of many women, has never been smooth,” she says.

“But a new leadership direction in Malaysia is creating great expectations with key objectives in terms of recognition and performance at all levels.”

Ree Nie received her CPA degree early in her career, after graduating from Sydney University of Technology.

“I chose the CPA program because CPA Australia is a privileged and renowned professional body that offers a wide range of career opportunities,” she says.

“The qualification gave me a competitive advantage in joining KPMG and no doubt gave me broader options in my career path, with the choice of being in audit or exploring tax and consulting. within the firm, without forgetting the opportunities abroad. “

Narita Naziree FCPA (Aust.), Head, Group Talent & Succession Development at Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank) says the CPA program has helped support her mobility and career transition by strengthening experiential learning.

At Maybank for 10 years, she also worked as Associate Director, Business Consulting at PwC Malaysia and as Director, Financial Risk Management, KPMG Malaysia.

“I was drawn to the program’s coverage which focused on current and global perspectives, while offering a good balance between technical and managerial modules,” she says.

“Managing a global workforce like we do at Maybank requires a keen sense of finances.

“This includes an appreciation of taxation, transfer pricing and expense accounting to manage human capital in different entities.

“The CPA program provides a great platform to develop financial acumen for different types of business roles. “

Graduates can be confident that the CPA program, which includes modules such as global strategy and leadership and strategic management accounting, is relevant to many types of roles as professional accounting evolves and transforms to meet the demands of stakeholder and digital needs over time, she says.

For those who combine family commitments or a career and study, options such as part-time and self-study are also of interest.

“When you’re working, it can be difficult to work and study at the same time,” says Lay Keng.

“With the CPA program, I was able to prepare for my exams on my own and the material was comprehensive and easy to follow.”

With an interactive e-learning platform, CPA Australia’s extensive resources range from business simulations, case studies and video resources to weekly webinars and module quizzes, with online exam options. and over 300 exam test centers around the world.

Lifelong learning and support

Narita Naziree FCPA (Aust.), Head, Group Talent & Succession Development at Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank)

When we start our careers and plan for years to come, we can think of it as a long runway with a takeoff at the end, says Narita.

“But career paths have changed so much, and there are so many opportunities to develop careers horizontally and vertically.”

CPA Australia offers unlimited lifelong learning opportunities with interesting workshops, lectures and discussions, as well as updates through the weekly e-newsletter and digital magazine of CPA Australia.

Women’s empowerment programs and support, including networking, are also included.

“As a member of the Malaysia Women in Business Committee of CPA Australia, working with cross-sector professionals on diversity, equity and inclusion has provided a great outside perspective,” said Narita.

Lay Keng says, “I have met many different professionals and friends across the world through the CPA Australia convention, webinars and international career fairs.

“I also had the opportunity to join the Malaysia Divisional Council and chair the Women in Business committee, which certainly widened my network circle.

“It was personally rewarding for me to be in the company of people who are professionals, who have integrity and a spirit of excellence, and who always think about bringing out the best in themselves and in the community. business community. “

However, while continuing to strive to achieve their goals, the three female leaders say they have learned the value of balancing work to meet career goals and “time for me”.

For Lay Keng, gardening and photographing the beauty of nature are ways to relax; for Narita, a morning stroll outdoors with a podcast or preparing a restaurant menu at home brings contentment.

Ree Nie says, “Living a balanced life is never easy, especially in the face of the demands of business and tough parenting.

“Nonetheless, this is where CPA Australia plays a crucial role, through exposure and resourceful engagement with many people in the region that builds the confidence to ensure official expectations are met.”

She advises young women leaders: “Make your plans and pursue your dreams, for your visions may well be just one step away. “

How you can start

Take a free webinar Become an Info CPA to learn more about the CPA program and take advantage of an application fee waiver.

The CPA program has special admission pathways with other professional bodies for those who hold other professional qualifications. There are special exemptions available under the CPA Australia-MIA MOU for MIA members with a minimum of five years of MIA membership in good standing.

the ‘CPA Australia – Sponsorship Yayasan Peneraju’ and the ‘CPA Australia – Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) – MARA Education Loan’ for S1 2022 is now open for registrations.

To find out more, please fill out a simple form by scanning the QR code below or call or WhatsApp 012-229 6746 or 012-207 5772.


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