08.03.2021, 17:26

Vietnam sees uptick in women's empowerment

Vietnam sees uptick in women's empowerment

A representative of the HCMC Association of Women Entrepreneurs joins a charitable program. The number of women holding senior leadership positions in midmarket businesses in Vietnam has risen sharply over the past few years – PHOTO: HAWEE

HCMC – The number of women holding senior leadership positions in midmarket businesses in Vietnam has risen sharply over the past few years, making Vietnam one of the Asia-Pacific countries with the highest proportion of women in leadership roles.

Up to 60% of women hold positions of chief financial officers at Vietnamese firms, double the 2020 figure, taking Vietnam to the No. 1 spot in the region, according to Grant Thornton International’s annual Women in Business report.

The position of Human Resource Director ranked second with 59%, which was also a very common position in the rest of the region. Vietnam made significant strides in the number of women holding the position of chief executive officers with an increase from 7% in 2020 to 20% in 2021.

Vietnam exceeded the global average with 39% of women in senior roles and ranked No. 3 amongst the 29 countries surveyed, behind the Philippines and South Africa, an increase of 6% over 2020. Vietnam’s position was on par with Brazil and India and it ranked second in the Asia Pacific region.

The report also indicated that the number of women holding senior leadership positions in midmarket businesses globally had hit 31% despite the coronavirus pandemic affecting economies around the world. Seeing the proportion of women leaders rise to 31% is encouraging, given that the global figure remained at 29% for the previous two years (2019 and 2020).

The proportion of female CEOs rose from six percentage points to 26%, while the proportion of female CFOs also upped six percentage points to 36%.

While the number of women in leadership roles has grown, questions remain over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on women, particularly working mothers.

Data from the United Nations showed that before the pandemic, women did three times as much unpaid housework as men. Besides this, mounting evidence indicates that Covid-19 is increasing this disparity, as well as adding the extra responsibilities of childcare and home schooling while schools are closed.

Meanwhile, as for the ecommerce sector, the survey by iPrice Group showed that Vietnam had taken the lead in Southeast Asia by the proportion of women in manager-level positions at 46%, up from 37% in 2018. Thailand and the Philippines came second and third, with the respective proportions of 44% and 39%.