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Work-life imbalances, salary drops for Malaysian creative and marketing professionals: study

AvantiKumar | June 14, 2013
Despite Malaysian government increased investment, salaries have either dropped or stagnated in the digital, marketing and creative industries, according to Market Pulse study.

Priya Bala - font talent modified 

Photo - Priya Bala, Malaysia Country Manager, font talent


Salaries have stagnated or dropped in the Malaysian digital, creative and marketing sectors even with increased investment by government and commercial companies, according to a new study by creative talent specialist font talent.

The latest studies from the company's ongoing salary survey shows that median salaries have declined since the beginning of the year. The results compared wages, benefits and retention rates across gender, job function and country, said font talent's Asia director Karin Clarke, who added that employees are readjusting their rewards expectations.

"Over the past three to four years, employees have been expecting, and demanding, salary increments of 20-30 percent, which is just not sustainable," said Clarke. "The talent market is now being more realistic about what increment they can expect while an increased number of entry-level roles have also pushed the median salary down."

In addition, men continued to receive higher salaries than women despite holding the same qualifications, she added. "Despite women being more likely to hold a degree or higher qualification than their male colleagues, their median salaries remained lower. The only exceptions were amongst the advertising account directors and creative directors surveyed."

Malaysia country manager Priya Bala said part of this imbalance may also be attributed to men being more likely to remain in their jobs for six years or longer, and the fact that men are more likely to receive company-paid training than women.

font talent, formerly Firebrand, has been conducting studies on the digital, creative and marketing sectors since 2008, and has collated more than 35,000 surveys.

Karin Clarke - font talent modified

Photo - Karin Clarke, Asia Director, font talent

Work-life and other imbalances

Bala said the Malaysian digital, creative and marketing industries often required longer hours, which may influence women with family commitments to look for a better work-life balance elsewhere "such as a government position, which further reduces their chances of achieving pay parity within the creative and digital sector."

"[The evidence also indicates that] men are more likely to opt for security while women are more likely to leave without another job to go to," said Clarke. "It's similar to the way in which many men will only leave relationships if they have another one to go to, whereas women are more inclined to leave with nothing to go to."

The study also found that Malaysia's median salaries were almost comparative to Singapore, with Malaysian women receiving slightly higher salaries than their Singaporean counterparts, but males receiving slightly less overall, she said. 


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