Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday, 8 March 2023 - In conjunction with International Women’s Day, Roche Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore hosted a virtual webinar entitled “Leading for Equality & Equity: How far have we already come towards gender equity in our nation?” While celebrating women leaders, the session aimed to emphasise the need for equity to reach gender equality and to transform patient health through insights from inspirational women who have made positive impacts in their respective industries.
The panel of women leaders from the Asia–Pacific region comprised Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, Writer & Activist; Cindy Sirinya Bishop, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Asia- Pacific, Thailand; Deepti Saraf, General Manager of Roche (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd and Yeoh Ying Ying, General Manager of Roche Singapore Pte Ltd.
They shared their individual experiences, insights, and perspective in championing gender parity in their respective industries to inspire wisdom, courage and change within our communities.
Commenting on the need for structural changes within our communities, Datin Paduka Marina said, “I believe that women’s equity and equality are essential for Malaysia to be a fairer and more prosperous society that will contribute to economic growth and offer equal opportunities for women. Promoting gender equality will empower Malaysia to unleash the potential of its untapped talent of women. Equality and equity for women will also result in greater social justice and better representation of women’s needs and interests in the decision-making process.”
Deepti, is a strong advocate for equity in women’s healthcare as the equity gap is even wider in healthcare for women. She said, “Women form 70% of the global healthcare workforce1 but only 5%2 of global healthcare assets are focused on women and it is found that women are underrepresented in clinical trials, contributing to health inequities and social injustice3 .”
She also added, “We need more women leaders to raise the voice for these inequities. It is good to note that currently women make up 40% of positions in senior management teams in Malaysia in 20224 . While there has been progress over the last decades, the world is still not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030 5 .”
Deepti also highlighted that Roche is committed to more inclusive research & partnering in building a more empowering healthcare infrastructure for women. “At our workplace, we support women by building a thriving community for women employees, supported by mentoring and coaching, and addressing the unconscious biases and limiting beliefs that women often face,” she added.
Ying Ying, who believes that mentoring and partnerships increase the opportunities for equity, said, “When we collaborate and support each other, we can accomplish so much more. Whether with our own teams or with groups outside our organisation, purposeful partnerships help breakdown siloed approaches and embrace the diversity of thought that lead to long-term sustainability of resources and collective impact. Roche is committed to ensuring inclusive working environments for our people and will be extended to our partners as we collectively develop new and better healthcare solutions for all.”
“As an ambassador, I will continue to show my support for women and push the envelope on institutionalised gender equality”, said Cindy. “Advocating for gender equality and female empowerment helps to challenge traditional gender roles and norms that limit women’s potential and perpetuate gender-based violence. Advocacy also enables people to recognise their rights and take action to address the inequalities women face in the society.”
As a healthcare leader, Roche reaffirmed its commitment to uphold diversity by actively encouraging and expanding the number of women in senior positions and managing roles, while continuously seeking ways to increase the involvement of women in the research and development projects. Roche firmly believes in instilling a sense of pride in the achievements in society and encouraging everyone to press towards gender equity, women’s rights and support diversity and inclusion.
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, as well as growing capabilities in the area of data-driven medical insights help Roche deliver truly personalised healthcare. Roche is working with partners across the healthcare sector to provide the best care for each person.
Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. In recent years, Roche has invested in genomic profiling and real-world data partnerships and has become an industry-leading partner for medical insights.
Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the twelfth consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as one of the most sustainable companies in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).
The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2020 employed more than 100,000 people worldwide. In 2020, Roche invested CHF 12.2 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 58.3 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit
Roche has been present in Malaysia since the 1950s, when the sales and distribution of products was managed by a third party distributor. Since then, Roche has established its operations to include Roche (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., the pharmaceutical business; Roche Diagnostics (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., the diagnostics business and Roche Services (Asia Pacific) Sdn. Bhd. (also referred to as Roche Services & Solutions APAC). With a total staff strength of over 1,000, Roche has grown into one of the leading healthcare companies in Malaysia that provides holistic healthcare solutions to healthcare practitioners and patients. For more information, please visit
Expire: 05-03-2024 unless superseded by a new version
1. World Health Organisation (WHO) 2021, Available at
2. McKinsey & Company. Unlocking opportunities in women’s healthcare. Available at
3. Cell Reports Medicine. Available at
4. Grant Thornton 2022. Available at
5. United Nations. (2023). Gender equality and women's empowerment. United Nations. Available at
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