Vietnam celebrates two Women’s Days – the local women’s day on October 20 and the international celebration on March 8.
While Vietnam leads Southeast Asian counterparts for gender diversity at upper senior level, that still just represents one quarter of CEO and board positions.
However, the best way of growing the number of future female leaders is to grow the number of women in Vietnam’s workforce.
Speaking at the opening of OneSky’s Early Learning Centre in Da Nang, Vietnam – a facility set up to help rural migrants working in the surrounding factory zone – US Consul General Mary Tarnowka said:
“I am confident that this pilot program can serve as a model to care for and educate the 1.2 million children whose parents work in Vietnam’s 300 industrial parks. And when that happens, the economic impact will be significant. Female participation in the labor market will increase, helping to create more educational opportunities for young girls, increase the presence of women in higher levels of management, boost incomes of families and raise living standards.”
The OneSky ELC offers the best possible start to for the children of factory workers – an equal split of around 250 boys and girls from 6 months to 6 years old – all taught by 54 OneSky trained female teachers. In total, OneSky in Da Nang provides employment to 70 female staff.
Beyond this, 80 childcare providers from the surrounding Hoa Khanh Industrial Zone are currently attending weekly training sessions where they learn best practices in early childhood care and education. The weekend classes, which started in April this year, run through to the end of December and all trainees are female.
This weekend, children and teachers at the ELC celebrated Vietnam’s Women’s Day. Children, accompanied by parents, brought small gifts to mark the occasion and everyone joined in the festivities.
Vietnam program director Vo Thi Hien (pictured below) said:
“Our work is focussed on providing equal care and development to an equal number of young girls and boys. Equality in itself represents a step forward.
“Women’s day is special in Vietnam. It is our great pleasure to celebrate it and the contribution women make, not just to this center, but to our community, our families and our country.”