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2 CEO’s workshops on “Enhancing corporate competiveness through women’s empowerment in the workplace” in HCMC and Hanoi

On 3rd and 6th November 2015, the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) and the Vietnam Women Entrepreneur Council (VWEC), under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in collaboration with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in Vietnam co-organized 2 CEO’s workshops on “Enhancing corporate competiveness through women’s empowerment in the workplace” respectively in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. These events aimed to strengthen business leaders’ awareness and commitment of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) – a joint initiative between UN Women and UN Global Compact.

WEPs- a pertnership initiative of UN Women and UN Global Compact- comprise seven steps that businesses can take to empower women and promote gender equality at the workplace, marketplace and community. With guidance provided by the Principles, businesses can empower women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and throughout all levels of economic activity.

  

With the participation of more than 80 CEOs and equivalent officers, the two workshops provided insights into WEPs, particularly accentuating their benefits from economic and social perspectives. The workshops also facilitated the experience sharing and discussion among participants on how to effectively apply WEPs in business.

During these events, 15 business leaders signed the CEO Statement of Support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles. By signing the Statement, CEOs demonstrate leadership on gender equality and women’s empowerment and encourage fellow business leaders to do the same. 

The global growth of the initiative, from 39 CEO Champions in June 2010 to 1,056 CEO signatories as of now, signals the strong business case for empowering women and mainstreaming gender throughout business operations and value chains. Supporters of the Principles come from over 67 countries and over 40 sectors representing industries as diverse as financial services, construction, telecommunications, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals. As of now 16 companies in Vietnam declared their commitment to the Principles.

Speaking at the workshop, UN Women Vietnam’s representative stressed: “Worldwide, women account for half of the working age population. Workplaces that underutilize women’s talents are simply missing out on half of the available human resources. Leveraging the full potential of women’s economic participation is not just a moral imperative, it is also good economics.

Mr. Nguyen Quang Vinh, VCCI Deputy Secretary General, VBCSD Secretary General cum Reprensentative of Global Compact Network Vietnam stressed: “Businesses shouldn’t just consider empowering women a responsibility. As a matter of fact, those companies who well conduct women’s empowerment policy are benefiting from productivity improvement and lasting competitive advantages”.

Mrs. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, Chairwoman of Vietnam Women Entrepreneur Council (VWEC) shared at the workshop: “Investing in women as well as empowering women at workplace is not only about the implementation of the Law on Gender Equality and social responsibility but also an investment in improving competitiveness and building sustainable development of firms, especially under the current context of international integration with requirements of global standards including labor criteria”.

The workshop will be followed by practical training courses on integrating WEPs in workplaces’ policies for enterprises.

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