On October 13, Prudential Vietnam Assurance PLC and the British Chamber of Commerce Vietnam co-organised the first 'Pride at Work' event to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
The event drew 100 leaders from various organisations who pledged to break bias against the LGBTQ+ community at work.
Prudential and the British Chamber of Commerce Vietnam (BritCham) want the movement "Pride at Work" to create a truly diverse and inclusive culture in the corporate environment. A healthy workplace that deepens belonging will benefit not only the employees but corporations greatly.
This first-ever “Pride at work” event in Vietnam underscores both organisations’ dedication to promoting diversity and equality in the workplace by engaging and inspiring businesses and organisations in the Britcham’s network. The event is also an opportunity to strengthen awareness about the importance of breaking social bias for LBGTQ+ and share experiences through networking to drive LGBTQ+ activities in business.
Joining the event were Tran Thanh Phong, chief marketing officer of Prudential Vietnam; Alan Phan, founding head of the North London Collegiate School Ho Chi Minh City; Ngo Le Phuong Linh, director of ICS Centre, and Ung Hoang Loi, director of Media & eCom Transformation of P&G Vietnam.
In a panel discussion, they shared how organisations can break the bias against LGBTQ+ in the workplace and what they have done to create an inclusive and diverse working environment. Moderated by Dustin Phuc Nguyen, the panellists shared their insights about the challenges for LGBTQ+ communities in the grey-suited business world, especially ‘traditional and conservative’ businesses.
Stonewall, the leading UK-based charity for LGBTQ+ advocacy said, “The best employers understand why all their employees should feel welcome, respected and represented at work. They know that inclusion drives better individual, business, and organisational outcomes. And they believe that staff must be able to bring their whole selves to work. Because when LGBTQ+ employees feel free to be themselves, everybody benefits.”
In early August, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health said in an official document that being LGBTQ+ was “entirely not an illness” and “cannot be ‘cured’ nor needs to be ‘cured’ and cannot be converted in any way.” This directive of the government signalled major progress in LGBTQ+ rights in Vietnam. However, it is recognised that there is a long way to go for the community to be socially accepted and recognised under the law in Vietnam.
Believing in the diversity of its employees and inclusion in its work environment, Prudential Vietnam has enriched its organisation and embedded diversity and inclusion into its corporate culture. Last year, Prudential was included in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index for the second consecutive year. Prudential has a diversity and inclusion charter to empower its people and create a sense of belonging by respecting and appreciating differences.
In line with embracing a more progressive view and inclusive definition of family, Prudential has launched its latest campaign, “Made for Every Family,” which highlights diverse types of families, whether it be nuclear, extended, cohabiting, or adoptive. The campaign shows Prudential's commitment to protecting families of every shape and size across Asia.
“BritCham Vietnam is very proud to partner with an organisation such as Prudential, a leading insurance company in Vietnam. The UK is at the forefront of trying to make society more inclusive, and the workplace is a vital part of that plight," said Matt Ryland, executive director of the BritCham. "We are very pleased to be able to be part of this and continue the development of inclusivity and diversity in Vietnam and particularly in the workplace. We hope this inaugural event will help to highlight the positive changes and challenges that still lie ahead, and we look forward to the subsequent events continuing that journey.”
“Prudential Vietnam was among the first to offer same-sex domestic partner benefits to employees. We look to collaborate with like-minded organisations to create a workplace free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination where differences are valued and celebrated," said Phong.
“This commitment also extends to our customers. "Made for every Family" is an example of how Prudential is trying to equalise access to insurance solutions, making insurance more accessible and inclusive by broadening the concept of family, allowing health and protection solutions to cover different types of family,” he added.
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