Gender equality – The key to business sustainable development

May 22, 2019 | 08:00
A corporation needs not only a diverse business culture, but also gender equality, which is considered the key for businesses’ sustainable development.
gender equality the key to business sustainable development
The dialogue on gender equality organised by VBCWE and the VBCSD

“Vietnamese business leaders should not only make commitments, but should act by for example perfecting human resources to remove gender barriers, achieving certificates of gender equality, and pioneering changes in corporate culture. They should aim to create positive impacts on the corporation’s business sector and the larger Vietnamese business community,” said Ha Thu Thanh, chairwoman of the Vietnam Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment (VBCWE) and Deloitte Vietnam, at the dialogue of “Gender equality – The key to business sustainable development” took place in Hanoi yesterday.

The dialogue was organised by the VBCWE in collaboration with the Vietnam Business Coalition for Sustainable Development (VBCSD), funded by Australian Aid’s Investing in Women (an initiative of the Australian government). This is part of a series of actions to improve the knowledge of the business community and society regarding gender equality in business environment and its economic benefits.

Nguyen Quang Vinh, general secretary of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and vice chairman of the VBCSD, pointed out several factors to create global businesses that develop sustainably and putting Vietnam on the right track. He also highlighted adding the criterion of gender equality in business to the Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI).

Vinh said that the circular economy aims to raise the effectiveness of the usage of natural resources in the value chain, from production to consumption and recovery. The application of circular economy will reduce the costs of corporate operation and management, as well as improve competitiveness and will allow Vietnam to better access the global market which will grow to $4.5 trillion by 2030.

At the dialogue, Ha Thu Thanh shared about the challenges of women business leaders in Vietnam in the era of international integration. The development of Industry 4.0 has urged some changes in the way business is done to achieve sustainable development, and the leadership of businesses also needs to be developed comprehensively. Moreover, equality should be developed in businesses, especially in the areas of gender equality on all levels, recruitment, training, promotion, working conditions, and salary.

At the session of “Gender equality – The key to business sustainable development,” leaders of businesses from various sectors shared real-life cases to prove that the formulation and implementation of policies on equality directly benefit businesses by improving productivity, brand value, corporate culture, and performance.

Nguyen Khai Hoan, CFO of FPT Software, highlighted that in order to improve knowledge on equality, businesses should review their human resources policies to set new targets, strategy, and specific actions. Besides, the mindset of the leadership also plays an important role as the foundation for the formulation of human resources policy, which will create the conditions for equal development for both males and females.

At FPT Software, they are very interested in recruiting female employees and even offer them more incentives than for males. However, female employees account for only 30 per cent of the company staff.

Also at the dialogue, a ceremony took place to hand over the EDGE Certification (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality) to Deloitte Vietnam, as well as to welcome new members of the VBCWE.

Deloitte Vietnam is the fourth company in the country to receive the EDGE Certification, and the second one to receive EDGE MOVE – the higher level certification.

Vietnamese that previously received the EDGE Certification are Southern Airports Services JSC (SASCO), Ho Chi Minh City Power Corporation (EVN HCMC), and Vietnam Maritime Joint Stock Commercial Bank (MSB).

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