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|IFC and the State Bank of Vietnam are working to raise the number of women in leadership positions in the banking sector|
In Vietnam, women comprise approximately 60 per cent of the entry-level workforce in banks but only around 20 per cent in top management positions. At a time when banks in the country face challenges in terms of attracting and retaining skilled people, a limited pipeline of women talent can prove to be expensive.
In addition to expanding the size of the labour pool, retaining women and promoting gender diversity in senior positions translates into other business benefits. These include improved financial performance, increased market share, greater investor confidence, a boost in innovation, and workforce productivity, among others.
For the banking sector, the SBV has put a strong emphasis on promoting gender diversity and women’s leadership across the sector.
“Our research has shown that gender diversity at the top provides better results for companies and better returns for investors. IFC is contributing to this drive by building capacity, raising awareness, and highlighting the value of gender-diverse boards and business leadership in emerging markets,” said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC’s country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
“We are delighted to work with SBV to promote a robust pipeline of female management talent in the banking sector, strengthening the results in Vietnam’s financial sector and boosting economic growth,” he added.
Over the next 18 months, the IFC and SBV will work with lenders in Vietnam to understand the current status of women’s representation in the sector and the perceived barriers to progress. With support from the Facility for Investment Climate Advisory Services, the project also offers a peer-learning platform for knowledge sharing and learning from global good practices on talent development, succession planning, and creating more flexible and inclusive workplaces.
Under this partnership, the pair will organise the Women in Banking Award to celebrate individuals and organisations that demonstrate achievements in promoting females in leadership through transformational and impactful initiatives.