VBCWE offering comprehensive solutions for gender equality in the workplace

March 07, 2022 | 08:00
Implementing a systematic and comprehensive solution for gender equality in the workplace will help businesses improve their policies and working environment, as well as enhance business performance towards sustainable development, according to a top Vietnamese alliance.
VBCWE offering comprehensive solutions for gender equality in the workplace
Chairperson of VBCWE Ha Thu Thanh and Cherie Russell, development counsellor for the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, awarded certificates to pioneering companies in workplace gender equality at CSI 2021

In recent days, the Vietnam Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment (VBCWE) has been busy with a tight schedule on advising on solutions for gender equality in the workplace as well as supporting the GEARS (Gender Equality Assessment, Results, and Strategies) assessment project within enterprises. A kick-off meeting of a workplace gender equality project at Ca Mau Petroleum Fertilizer JSC was held with the participation of representatives from its board of directors and the VBCWE team.

VBCWE Executive Director Dinh Thi Thu Hoai said, “We offer comprehensive workplace gender equality solutions for enterprises, starting from assessing the current situation; offering recommendations and building action plans; providing training courses and consulting services to implementing action plans; and reviewing effectiveness by reassessment.”

Understanding the company’s gender equality status is critical, Hoai added. "It is the foundation to determine the gaps, opportunities, and strengths of the company’s current strategy. From that, we will offer recommendations and tailor-made action plans for each enterprise to promote gender diversity.”

At present, the gender equality assessment and consultancy schedule has been applied at a series of enterprises such as Deloitte Vietnam, Alphanam, Traphaco, TNG, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), and others.

One of the partners seeing breakthrough change after applying the coalition's solutions is Power Generation Corporation 3 (EVNGENCO 3). VBCWE offered a flexible work arrangement model and then worked with the company in every step of the process, from analysing prevailing policies, conducting staff survey, to designing strategy and putting into practices. Support with internal communications and monitoring and evaluation was also provided to ensure the effectiveness of the new policy.

After applying the model, both EVNGENCO3’s board of directors and its employees saw improvements. On the corporate governance side, labour productivity was improved, discipline was tightened, and staff turnover decreased, especially in senior talent positions.

Employee living standards have also improved as they can balance more time for work and family. In addition, workers are allowed more flexibility in their schedules.

Back in 2020, thanks to VBCWE’s support, the company received the EDGE certification for gender equality, becoming the eighth enterprise in Vietnam to attain the certification. The coalition has also supported three other EVN member companies as well as the aforementioned large-scale groups and others to get the relevant certification.

At present, VBCWE is expanding its member network in order to share and spread the values of equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, making positive impacts on the society and business community. VBCWE members are large-scale enterprises operating in diversified sectors, such as Ericsson, Hitachi Energy, SG Food, and EVN, among others.

By being an active member of VBCWE, Ericsson is proud to promote diversity and inclusion, particularly in terms of gender diversity, across all aspects of its business and operations.

Denis Brunetti, president of Ericsson for Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos and a board member of VBCWE said, “Any business that is able to create a diverse and inclusive environment enables a sense of belonging among its employees which in turn motivates them to work harder, leading to improved work diversity that finally results in gains, not just by way of the business outcome but also innovation in the products and services.”

VBCWE's Hoai added, “Gender equality should be mainstreamed into companies’ strategies, policies and practices. Business leaders need to have a deep understanding about the benefits of applying gender equality models and set this target as a priority.”

In order to effectively implement gender equality at the workplace, enterprises need to add training courses relating to this subject, while simultaneously applying international-standard measures to understand their business situation.

Since 2021, the Programme on Benchmarking and Announcing Sustainable Companies in Vietnam organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development began to issue an “Outstanding Businesses Committed to Gender Equality in the Workplace” category. Being a member of the programme’s advisory council, VBCWE is in charge of building the criteria and selecting the top companies in workplace gender equality practices. The introduction of the category highlights opportunities for companies to standardise their gender equality scheme, as well as affirms the vitality of gender equality in business sustainable development.

By Kim Oanh

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional