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Press Release

Vietnam got high scores in leadership progress for women

78% of mid-market businesses globally are actively working on removing barriers to gender parity at senior levels according to the latest research from Grant Thornton’s International Business Report. 

The number of businesses driving initiatives, globally, such as ensuring developmental opportunities 34%, creating an inclusive culture (34%) and flexible working (31%), have all seen an increase across all those measured by the report. In Vietnam the scores were high ranking no.1 globally with ensuring development opportunities (56%), creating an inclusive culture (58%), and flexible working (56%).

However, the global progress for the representation of women in senior leadership positions has stalled. Women currently hold 29% of senior leadership positions – the same as last year. In Vietnam the percentage is slightly higher at 32% with the most common positions HR Director (36%) and CFO (32%).

Francesca Lagerberg, global leader, Grant Thornton International Ltd says: “It is extremely encouraging to see deliberate action taking place as mid-market businesses ramp up activities that encourage progress and accessibility to leadership positions for women. 2018 saw a sharp rise in the representation of women at a senior level after significant changes in the social climate of the western world however, this year’s numbers have levelled off once again highlighting that change at the top is glacial.”

With many mid-market businesses now being intentional in their efforts to boost equality, markets may start to see more women in leadership positions over the coming years as initiatives are embedded and begin to show results.

Ms Valerie Teo, Tax Partner, Grant Thornton Vietnam says: “If we want to continue to see more women in senior positions, businesses need to be intentional. Policies that ensure diversity of thought at the decision-making table, that address equal opportunity in career development and bias in recruitment and develop inclusive cultures can’t just be a nice to have – they are a must. Once implemented, these policies must be enforced and regularly reassessed to judge their effectiveness. When that is combined with real commitment from senior leadership, only then will real transformational change take place.”

2019’s significant findings:

  • 29% of senior management positions within mid-market companies globally are held by women compared to 33% in Vietnam.
  • 87% of businesses have at least one woman in senior management – Vietnam 95%
  • 78% of mid-market businesses are actively working on their gender balance. Common initiatives include:
    • Creating an inclusive culture (34%) - Vietnam 58%
    • Ensuring equal access to developmental opportunities (34%) - Vietnam 56%
    • Enabling flexible working (31%) – Vietnam 56%
    • Reviewing recruitment processes (26%) – Vietnam 50%
    • Mentoring/coaching (26%) - Vietnam 36%
    • Reward for senior management linked to targets (23%) - Vietnam 44% (No 1 globally)
    • Gender quotas (22%) - Vietnam 31% (2019: 43%)
    • Unconscious bias training (21%) – Vietnam 28%
  • The number of women at CEO level has increased from 15% in 2018 to 20% in 2019, while those in CFO roles has dropped from 34% in 2018 to 30% in 2019.


Further enquiries, please contact:

Ngo Thi Kim Van

Marketing and Communications Senior Manager

M: +84 909 044 214



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