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Financial skills give edge to VN female execs

Women with certified financial backgrounds should find it easier to win positions on the boards of big corporations, a recent seminar held by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) was told in Hanoi.

According to VietnamPlus e-newpaper, Martin Turner, president of ACCA Global, said finance was a springboard for women.

He said the financial sector had created a clearer path for career advancement for women, especially in companies that provided professional services.

Citing the report titled "Women in Finance: A Springboard to Corporate Board Positions", he said women seemed to be more successful in corporate executive positions if they had experience in the financial sector.

According to the report, 45 per cent of corporate female executives have a functional background in finance and 65 per cent have experience in the financial sector. The comparable rates for male executives are 26 per cent and 44 per cent.

The report also shows that finance is the language of the boardroom and the ability to communicate financial information establishes and builds credibility.

Turner said that financial skills were not enough. Women needed to stretch their social connections and make themselves known to the places they wanted to work.

The seminar, which was held last week, was told that Vietnam had achieved encouraging progress in gender equality, evidenced by high rate of female students at schools and female workers in the labour force. In the country, about 30 per cent of corporate boardroom members are women, higher than the world average. However, the gender disparity in leadership positions remains quite large.

According to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce’s Business Forum magazine, recruiting talented female leaders is becoming more competitive around the world. Speaking at the seminar, Nguyen Vinh Ha, deputy director of Grant Thornton Vietnam, said the percentage of women in business leadership was increasing, especially in the financial sector.

Nevertheless, the rate of female workers is relatively low. Up to 66 per cent of enterprises surveyed said their female employees made up less than 50 per cent of their workforces.


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