Senior decision-makers from the private sector participate in the Gender Equality Conference held in HCM City on October 22 to promote women’s economic empowerment and gender equality. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vũ
HCM CITY — Businesses that provide equal career opportunities for men and women create a sustainable corporate culture, improve employee satisfaction and performance and attract and retain talent, senior decision-makers from the private sector have said.
Hà Thu Thanh, chairperson of Deloitte Vietnam, said women experience many obstacles in career development due to pregnancy and responsibility for childcare and chores in the house.
Women should be ambitious and motivated and get promoted to senior leadership positions, she told the Gender Equality Conference held in HCM City on October 22.
“Gender equality at work reflects in the mindset of leaders of businesses where gender equality is an integral part of their strategies.”
At her company, the proportion of men holding management and leadership positions is 68 per cent, while among staff who have worked for one to three years, women account for 68 per cent, she said.
“Businesses need to develop policies to improve gender equality at the workplace by enhancing leadership and talent among women staff.
“Flexible working policies for women should be adopted as part of efforts to improve gender equality.”
Huỳnh Bửu Quang, CEO of Maritime Bank, said: “With women workers accounting for 60 per cent of employees, gender parity is crucial to the operation and development of the company.
“The development and implementation of gender parity policies at the workplace increases competitiveness and creates good corporate culture and attracts and retains talent.”
Vietnam Panel Pledge
Fifteen CEOs took the first step and signed on the Vietnam Panel Pledge in which business leaders commit to actively challenge the absence of female speakers at events, roundtable discussions and public conferences or forums.
Many high-profile conferences, events and taskforces lack gender balance despite the fact that there is often no shortage of qualified women to contribute.
The Australian ‘2019 Women for Media Report’ estimated that only 30 per cent of event speakers are women.
Việt Nam faces similar challenges.
The impact of these imbalances has consequences on the opportunities for women in leadership.
“By signing the Vietnam Panel Pledge, business leaders will take active steps to involve more women and women’s leadership in their organisations,” Australian consul-general Julianne Cowley said.
“Gender equality is crucial to reinforce Việt Nam’s economic dynamism and ensure its future prosperity.”
The McKinsey Global Institute estimated that equality for women could add US$40 billion to Việt Nam’s GDP annually by 2025.
“The empowerment of women and girls is a priority for the Australia Government, and a key focus of Australia’s economic partnership with Việt Nam,” Cowley said.
“Over the next three years, we intend to build momentum to embed everyday gender equality practices.” — VNS