VBCWE: Together with businesses creating a sustainable workplaceNews Stories /19 January 2021
Majority of the businesses in Vietnam, in keeping with the global trend, have been uninterested in gender equality in their workplace. As such, these enterprises have yet to realize the proven benefits of Workplace Gender Equality (WGE) on their business. Women account for 50% of the labour force in Vietnam, yet there exists a gap in awareness about gender equality. Gendered social norms continue to serve as a barrier to the implementation of gender equality in the workplace.
However, the world is changing, and businesses need to adapt accordingly. Decades of research have consistently shown that WGE has proven benefits to the business in terms of talent development, increased innovation and positive brand-building—thus attracting investors, consumers, partners and top talent. WGE brings a competitive advantage that improves business outcomes, including revenue and profitability, and redefines company values.
The recent addition of criteria on gender equality to the CSI has prompted businesses to track gender equality-related indicators in their sustainable development reports and enhance their performance step-by-step. This development has greatly encouraged the business community in Vietnam to adopt good corporate governance practices towards sustainable development.
Mr. Pham Hoang Hai – Chief Secretary of Vietnam Business Coalition for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) expressed his great appreciation for the business organizations and specialists who participated in the consultation for significant changes in CSI 2020. “On the 25th September 2020, the Government issued Resolution 136 NQ-CP on Sustainable Development in which the CSI set is regarded as one of the most important tools for businesses to implement their sustainable development plan in general and gender equality in particular,” he shared.
Among the organizations he especially thanked were the Vietnam Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment (VBCWE) and the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS), both partners of Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government. Their contributions have helped develop a policy system that requires businesses to implement gender equality in the workplace.
VBCWE has been an active partner of VBCSD in activities that promote gender equality and sustainable development. VBCWE’s mission is to connect businesses in Vietnam and gain their commitment to WGE. Together, they are supporting women’s economic empowerment in the Vietnamese business community by creating gender-equal workplaces that focus on the employees’ well-being.
VBCWE’s contributions to the CSI 2020 include:
- Statistics of total number of middle managers and above;
- Statistics of total number of female middle managers and above;
- Reports on average salary of both male and female workers;
- Policy/program on selecting, training and coaching female leaders;
- Communication and training on gender equality;
- Communication and training on domestic violence prevention for employees;
- Policies/provisions against sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace;
- Regulations on maternity regime and working hours;
- Specialised examinations for employees;
- Regulations on the arrangement of jobs that are suitable for female workers during pregnancy and breastfeeding period in the Health section; and
- Occupational safety and health.
While these changes signal a promising start towards a thriving economy based on equality and diversity, it is still vital to call for a consensus in the business community as well as the cooperation of business organizations—among them the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), VBCSD, and VBCWE—to deliver on these values and build a more sustainable future.
The Vietnam Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment (VBCWE) was established in February 2018, through the Investing in Women (IW) program of the Australian Government with the aim of promoting gender equality in the workplace and women’s economic empowerment in Vietnam.
Businesses expecting to join VBCWE may contact:
Tel: 0243 2022 678
Or register via: http://vbcwe.com/dang-ky-tham-gia
This article was previously published on 5 January 2021 on the VBCWE website.