Tech groups acknowledge empowerment

March 15, 2023 | 19:00
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Technology is undergoing a transformation as it becomes a more attractive and empowering employment for women.
Tech groups acknowledge empowerment
Tech groups are increasingly understanding the skills women can bring to a project, Photo: Shutterstock

VNPT Technology, a member of Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group and one of the top enterprises in the field of technology and digital communications in Vietnam, currently has more than 60 female engineers.

Nguyen Thien Huong, ONEDX product manager of VNPT Technology’s Product and Solution Centre, said she likes difficult things, loves technology and never thought she would be suitable for any other career.

“Some barriers make it difficult for women to pursue this industry, include staying up late and working overtime. However, women can sometimes be more patient, meticulous, and thoughtful. Therefore, when working in the sector, they can pay attention to every detail and carefully consider the problem,” said Huong.

Many other enterprises in technology in Vietnam are now also seeing growth in the number of female employees, especially engineers.

Currently, Viettel has more than 14,000 female employees, accounting for 29 per cent. In which, six of 15 heads of departments at Viettel are female, 2.5 times higher than the average level at enterprises in the global IT field.

According to the International Labour Organization, female workers constitute about 37 per cent of the workforce in the technology sector in Vietnam, higher than the rest of the world at 25 per cent.

Gender diversity is also a factor that tech companies in Vietnam are interested in to help them create good, safe and suitable products for the majority of users. However, the majority of women working in the sector are still primarily in other positions such as testing, marketing, sales, administration and human resources, rather than technical roles such as software developer.

There are many reasons for the low percentage of women working in this field, such as the lack of policies and programmes to promote women’s participation in the tech sector, as well as the existence of gender stereotypes about women and technology. Therefore, breaking down barriers and empowering women is a challenge for many businesses.

“Gender stereotypes have been preventing women from choosing to pursue careers in sci-tech. Prejudice can come from women themselves, from families or from society,” said Pauline Tamaris, the United Nations resident coordinator in Vietnam.

However, there are also unexpected bright spots when women working in technology are being more empowered than men, according to the results of the Woman in Work Index and Global Empowerment Index survey released by PwC last week.

“By industry, the most empowered female workers are working in tech, media, and telecommunications. Especially in technology, where women are even slightly more empowered than men,” said the report.

The index is evaluated based on the perspectives of nearly 22,000 working women around the world and measures autonomy, influence, sense of belonging, confidence, and competence.

The PwC research also showed that companies with a diverse workforce, with more than 30 per cent of their leaders led by women, are 15 per cent more profitable on average than less diverse companies, and businesses that achieve high scores on sustainability tend to perform better.

However Angela Yang, PwC Vietnam’s head of Inclusion and Diversity, said, “Despite some success, promoting gender equality in the workplace remains a pressing issue in Vietnam, where segregation is leading to a gender pay gap, and the percentage of women becoming senior leaders remains low.”

According to statistics from human resources website Glassdoor, women in the IT industry in Vietnam have 28 per cent lower incomes than their male colleagues. Another report by the Women In Tech network also shows that about 78 per cent of large tech companies admit to paying different salaries for their male and female employees.

The increasing demand for IT human resources and the more active participation of women in the technology job market has led many Vietnamese technology enterprises to try to improve the working environment and create more opportunities for them to work and give them more developed association.

Major Vietnamese tech group FPT is a typical example. In 2021, the number of female employees at FPT reached 13,840, accounting for 37 per cent of the total staff. The percentage of female employees at FPT is projected to have increased to 21.4 per cent in 2022, similar to the increase in male employees of 21.3 per cent. The number of female managers also increased by 17.5 per cent, compared to the rate of 11 per cent of male managers.

Ho Ngoc Thanh, director of Software Development at TMA Technology Group, said that prominent positions such as tester, front-end developer, or business analyst are jobs where females can have many advantages.

“Testing work requires great care and patience, and front-end developers require good taste and meticulousness to design products with a beautiful appearance and high applicability,” Thanh said.

TMA has a very high percentage of female business analysts, and the head of the department is also female. The percentage of female employees is about 25 per cent but, at the management level, women account for more than 30 per cent.

“With the need to recruit thousands of IT engineers every year, the company is looking forward to having more and more female employees join us,” Thanh added.

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By Thai An

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