More opportunities for women needed, conference hears

Update: March, 08/2016 - 00:40

HCM CITY — Although the proportion of women in leadership roles and management in politics and the economy in Việt Nam has increased in recent years, it is still insufficient compared to their potential, Tôn Nữ Thị Ninh, vice chairwoman of Việt Nam’s Peace Committee, has said.

Ninh spoke at an international conference held last Saturday in HCM City by the HCM City Association for Women Executives and Entrepreneurs (HAWEE) to mark International Women’s Day.

She said that Việt Nam now has three women in the Politburo.

“How heartening the progress is,” she said, however, adding that the percentage of women in the Party Central Committee still remains only at 10 per cent.

The proportion of female members in the 13th Congress is 24.4 per cent, higher than the world average of 22.5 per cent. However, it has declined over the last four congresses.

The Government should have more policies to give opportunities for women to raise their representative proportion, she said.

“More women should be in leadership positions to manage the country because they are worthy. Moreover, they have the capacity but they lack one thing. That thing is a chance,” she added.

Ninh said there were already chances in politics, which is why they were focusing to develop leadership and management in the field of economics.

In 2014, 24.9 per cent of enterprise and farm leaders were female, an increase of 0.5 per cent compared to 2013.

Ninh said that women should be given a chance to prove themselves.

Men should be “unbiased” towards women, she said.

The conference, which attracted more than 300 foreign, domestic and enterprise leaders, most of them women, heard discussions about women in technology, innovation and the sciences, as well as talks about leadership capacity training for women and social values for female enterprises.

Women in the tech field

The proportion of women working in technology and science is lower than for men.

Dr Nguyễn Thị Hoè, chairwoman of KOVA Group, said that female students whom she had taught in universities often achieved better learning outcomes than male students.

However, after graduating they do not gain promotion at work because they are in charge of housework, she added.

Hoè said that enterprises and the Government should have proper bonus policies for good female employees so that they will be loyal, work a long time and contribute to research.

Sherry Boger, general manager of Intel Products Việt Nam, said that they should negotiate with their spouses about housework duties.

Because of impediments such as these, they do not have much time to build professional and social networks that could help them be passionate about their work.

She cited one global research study on women in technology, engineering and science, which showed that women in these fields were isolated due of a lack of networks.

Intel Việt Nam is providing scholarships to female students at technical vocational schools to encourage more women to learn and work in the field.

Astrid Tuminez, Microsoft regional director of legal and corporate affairs in Southeast Asia, said that women who take advantage of technology in their daily lives and jobs could gain success.

At the conference, HAWEE and the Australia Consulate General signed an agreement on cultural and educational exchange and co-operation in female leadership and enterprises.  

A walk to call for women’s sustainable development was held last Sunday in District 7, attracting more than 5,000 attendees. Nearly VNĐ500 million (US$22,200) was raised by the conference and walk. – VNS