One of Asia’s Most Gender-Diverse Workforces


Gender diversity in the workplace has been a major talking point around the world and in Asia, where a disproportionately low number of females hold key positions in corporate companies. However, according to the fifth edition of Deloitte Global’s Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective study, Vietnam outperformed most countries in Asia with 17.6 percent of its board members being females. The average percentage for the continent is 7.8 percent.

woman vietnam workforceImage source:

The study examined 7,000 companies in 64 countries. Sadly, the numbers have barely budged since the 2015 edition and, at present, women only hold 15 percent of seats worldwide and a meager 4 percent of CEO and board chair positions.

Ha Thi Thu Thanh, Chairwoman of Deloitte Vietnam, said in a statement, “Vietnam is seeing a growing number of women serving on boards.” She added, “In fact, over the past 25 years, after the Law on Enterprise came into effect, businesses led by women have been seen to grow steadily and sustainably in Vietnam.”

Deloitte mentioned that although Vietnam has no gender quotas, the country aims to bring the number of female entrepreneurs up to 35 percent by 2020.

Vietnam also boasts Southeast Asia’s only female billionaire: Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, founder of VietJet Airlines, whose estimated net worth currently stands at US$1.7 billion.

woman vietnam workforceImage source:

Malaysia and Singapore came in behind Vietnam with 13.7 percent and 10.2 percent, respectively. The worst performing Asian countries were Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Across the planet, South America scored an average of 7.2 percent whereas Europe scored the highest with 22.6 percent.

The Deloitte study also suggests that having a female chief executive officer breeds further diversity, as companies with a female leader are twice as likely to hire other women in higher-paying positions.

Initiatives such as Coca-Cola’s EKOCENTER and the SheStarts Forum, hosted by the American Center, aim to empower young female entrepreneurs in Vietnam.

Banner image source: PwC