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IW-ILO research demonstrates business case for women in business and management in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines

News Stories /23 November 2020

Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines continue to face challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. To reduce the risk of transmission, these three nations have undergone varying degrees government-mandated restrictions since the first quarter of 2020, including the lockdown of affected areas. The Philippines, in particular, has been under different levels of community quarantine since March, resulting in limited economic activity.  Restrictive safety measures in Vietnam have reduced domestic demand, altered work arrangements and disrupted supply chains, stunting economic growth. Despite having the largest economy in South East Asia with a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$1.04 trillion in 2018, Indonesia, like its neighbouring countries, has felt the impact of the ongoing economic crisis.

Across all three countries, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been gendered. Women have been at greater risk of losing their jobs since many of them are employed only temporarily or part-time. The services industry has been badly hit, and majority of its employees are women. Moreover, the crisis has exacerbated women’s double burden in balancing family and work responsibilities, especially in household situations where working from home has become necessary.

As economic activity gradually resumes, it becomes more imperative to exhaust viable measures to revamp businesses and revive the economy. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, advancing women’s equality in the countries of Asia Pacific could add $4.5 trillion to their collective annual GDP by 2025. And while this may have become a greater challenge in the COVID-19 climate, gender equality remains key to economic growth, and women’s leadership, an important factor.

Contributing to the growing number of evidence-based research, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Investing in Women (IW) have undertaken collaborative efforts to establish the business case for gender diversity in management and workplace gender equality, resulting in research briefs covering three of IW’s target countries: Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

The research briefs were launched and presented through separate online and on-ground events. Leading to success: The business case for women in business and management in Indonesia, was launched on 18 August through the joint efforts of Investing in Women, the International Labour Organization and the Indonesia Business Coalition for Women Empowerment. IW and ILO worked closely with the Philippines Business Coalition for Women Empowerment and The Employers Confederation of the Philippines to organise the online launch of Leading to success: The business case for women in business and management in the Philippines on 23 September. On 17 November, IW, ILO and the Vietnam Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment (VBCWE) held the online and on-ground launch of Leading to Success: The business case for women in business and management in Vietnam, which, apart from the presentation of research findings and a discussion of how Vietnamese policy makers and the private sector grapple with the subject of Workplace Gender Equality, included VBCWE’s EDGE Certification Awarding Ceremony for its member companies.

Utilising data collated prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the research briefs present evidence on how greater gender diversity across different levels of the workforce creates business benefits for enterprises, including higher profitability and productivity, increased ability to retain talent, and greater creativity, among others. They include insights on areas such as women in leadership, flexible work arrangements and the link between gender balance on boards and improved business outcomes.

You may download copies of the research briefs by following the links below:

 

Leading to Success: The business case for women in business and management in Viet Nam Leading to success: The business case for women in business and management in Viet Nam

This country brief demonstrates the business case for gender diversity in management and workplace gender equality in Viet Nam considering the COVID-19 context. Download the resource.

 

Leading to success: The business case for women in business and management in Indonesia Leading to success: The business case for women in business and management in Indonesia

This country brief demonstrates the business case for gender diversity in management and workplace gender equality in Indonesia considering the COVID-19 context. The brief also showcases ILO’s efforts to provide women workers with critical STEM-related soft and technical skills to improve their employability and career prospects in Indonesia. Download the resource.

 

Leading to success: The business case for women in business and management in the Philippines Leading to success: The business case for women in business and management in the Philippines

This country brief demonstrates the business case for gender diversity in management and workplace gender equality in the Philippines considering the COVID-19 context. The brief also showcases ILO’s efforts to provide women workers with critical STEM-related soft and technical skills to improve their employability and career prospects in the Philippines. Download the resource.

 


COVID-19 Impacts to Women's Economic Empowerment

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