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Gender discrimination prevalent in recruitment

Update: March, 06/2015 - 09:28

HA NOI (VNS) — In Viet Nam, gender-based discrimination remains common in private sector recruitment, though it has been improved in work environments and promotion opportunities, according to a study by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Navigos Search.

The two organisations yesterday released a policy brief titled Gender Equality in Recruitment and Promotion Practices in Viet Nam, which comes from their latest study.

One in five out of 12,300 job postings in the country's four largest job portals – Vietnamworks, JobStreet, CareerBuilder and CareerLink – between mid-November 2014 and mid-January 2015 included gender requirements. Among them, 70 per cent requested that the positions be filled by men, while 30 per cent wanted female applicants.

Men were most often targeted for more technical, highly skilled jobs or jobs that require more outdoor activities, such as architects, drivers, engineers and IT professionals.

Meanwhile, women were often preferred for office and support work – positions like receptionists, secretaries, accountants, human resources management and general affairs.

"Job advertisements should avoid any mention of gender, as this represents a direct form of gender-based discrimination, and such ‘glass walls' will result in gender segregation by occupation and job function," ILO Viet Nam Director Gyorgy Sziraczki said. "This will limit the ability of businesses to fully benefit from the talent of newly recruited employers."

By advertising gender preference, women's and men's access to certain types of jobs is restricted, thereby depriving them of important opportunities in the labour market.

Gender segregation in the job marketplace was also shown in advertisements for managerial positions. Up to 83 per cent of management job postings with gender preference required male applicants. Significantly, all of the director posts were exclusively for men.

As part of the study, a survey of employers in the private sector in January revealed that apart from academic qualifications and work experience – the two most important factors in recruiting decisions – two thirds of employers ask questions about the applicants' availability to work outside of normal working hours. Up to 43 per cent of employers sought to discover applicants' marital status and 30 per cent tried to find out their future plans to have children.

Only 60 per cent of the employers interviewed counted maternity leave as part of the length of service as required by the laws. With the length of service being the second most important factor when employers make promotion decisions, this represents a significant disadvantage for women looking to advance their careers. — VNS

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