Female business leaders in Vietnam rising

Vietnam has been in the world’s top 10 countries having the highest share of senior female mangers in recent years, which demonstrates female entrepreneur’s management capacity and gender equality in business establishments.
Vietnam has worked to help women start their business. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam has been in the world’s top 10 countries having the highest share of senior female managers in recent years, which demonstrates female entrepreneur’s management capacity and gender equality in business establishments.

International Business Reports from Grant Thornton, a leading independent assurance, tax and advisory firm, showed that Vietnamese women hold 37% of senior management positions in 2019, and the figures in 2021, 2022, and 2023 were 39%, 33%, and 34%, respectively, much higher than the world and the Asia-Pacific’s levels.

The report in 2023 revealed that the top two roles of Vietnamese women in businesses were Human Resources Director (61%) and Chief Finance Officer (44%).

Women own 20-24% of the 900,000 enterprises in the country.

Up to 68.6% of female entrepreneurs hold graduate degrees and master's degrees on business administration as compared to the 71.9% of businessmen.

However, due to socio-cultural barriers, most of the women-led businesses are operating in a small scale and in labour-intensive sectors. Additionally, low adoption rate in advanced technologies have led to low profit in the enterprises, and make it hard for the firms to stand up to economic turbulences.

In Vietnam, it is much harder for women to start their business than men since they have less access to financial support and concessional loans. Statistics showed that only 37% of the women-led small- and medium-sized businesses are able to get loans while the figure is 47% for men-owned firms.

Along with gender norms and limited access to resources, many women lack skills and knowledge of corporate governance, human resources, finance and marketing.

Over the past time, a multitude of policies, legal regulations and programmes to support women’s startup have been launched. However, in order to help women score further successes, specific measures should be outlined by the Government, competent organisations and the whole society.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam and Trinh Thi Nhuan, lecturers from Thuong Mai University, suggested the Vietnam Women’s Union roll out financial and non-financial support to women’s startup and sustainable development.

Administrative reforms should be promoted to reduce business procedures and training courses organised to improve women’s capacity, they added.