The definition of running a good business has evolved. We’re not only talking about doubling the revenue or winning awards or even keeping the largest chunk of consumers. While money and clients matter, it’s critical to understand why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion matter just as much. Considering the increasing integration of the global economy, achieving diversity in the workplace isn’t just a smart move to make, it’s a must.
However, most people imagine a diversified workplace as a working environment that includes employees of different genders, racial backgrounds, and ethnicities. It’s true, yes, but there’s more to it than just these.
What’s alarming is some companies believe that having at least three different shades of skin tone already works, or hiring a gay man to handle accounting or more female interns.
But why take the initiative of creating a diverse environment in the workplace? The short answer is, the business will grow in a number of ways. The longer explanation is this: When you put a variety of individuals together in the same room, you’ll get different perspectives and opinions that can benefit your business.
In Vietnam, where women are still in a constant battle to carve their names in fields dominated by men, private corporations, as well as Consul Generals and chambers of commerce all, joined together to seal a commitment to actively include different voices during public and professional forums.
On March 8, as the world celebrated International Women’s Day, the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Vietnam hosted Champions of Diversity and Inclusion: Panel Pledge at the Reverie Saigon. The event was coordinated with and co-hosted by an inter-chamber coalition of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion advocates, including AmCham; Australian Chamber of Commerce Vietnam; British Chamber of Commerce Vietnam; Canadian Chamber of Commerce Vietnam; and EuroCham Vietnam. P&G Vietnam and Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam sponsored the event.
The Panel Pledge is both an achievable step to enhance Diversity and Inclusion at public and professional forums and a public commitment made by company leaders and senior executives to support and promote gender equity in thought leadership at every forum and influence system-wide change.
Thirty-nine individuals signed or pledged to sign the panel pledge including eight Consul Generals, 10 Chairs and Executive Directors of five chambers of commerce, and 21 business leaders.
Hao Tran, CEO of Vietcetera Media, was among the 21 business leaders who pledged to produce media content with a diverse and inclusive representation of voices.
"Vietcetera Media is committed to a diverse workplace,” he said. “Today, we have a team of more than 100 in our HCMC and Hanoi offices with a breakdown of 60% women and 40% men. We are also proud to have a representation from LGBTQIA+.”
With the shared commitment with the rest of Vietnam’s key industry players, Hao is looking forward to investing in more programs internally while strengthening the dialogue and action in working with clients and partners.
"We are proud to pledge to diverse and inclusive panels across our events, representation of voices in our media content, and of course, within Vietcetera’s company culture.”
All 39 signatories pledged to actively encourage women's voices in all their diversity, persevere to achieve change, and in the long run, build a culture that encourages the inclusion of diverse voices.
The event also featured a diverse panel of business leaders who discussed their personal and corporate commitments to advancing DEI, including P&G General Director Sai Ponugoti, Standard Chartered CEO Michele Wee, Unilever Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Bich Van, and Artemis Digital Founder & CEO Samuel Walter.
Panel Pledge Signing Highlights
8 Consul Generals signed or pledged to sign
- Consul General Sarah Hooper, Australian Consulate-General Ho Chi Minh City
- Consul General Oliver Todd, British Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City
- Consul General Behzad Babakhani, Consulate General of Canada in Ho Chi Minh City
- Consul General Emmanuelle Pavillon-Grosser, Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City
- Consul General Dr. Josefine Wallat, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ho Chi Minh City
- Consul General Enrico Padula, Consulate General of Italy in Ho Chi Minh City
- Consul General Daniël Stork, Netherlands Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City
- Consul General Marie C. Damour, U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City
10 Chairs and EDs of 5 Chambers signed or pledged to sign
- Winnie Wong, Chair, AmCham Vietnam; Country Manager, Mastercard Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos
- Mary Tarnowka, Executive Director, AmCham Vietnam
- Simon Pugh, Chair, AusCham Vietnam, Group CEO, QLM Label Makers Vietnam
- Simon Fraser, Executive Director, Australian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AusCham)
- Christopher Jeffery, Chair, British Chamber of Commerce Vietnam, Chief Academic Officer, British University Vietnam
- Matt Ryland, Executive Director, British Chamber of Commerce Vietnam
- Winnie Lam, Chair, Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CanCham) Vietnam; COO, Colliers Vietnam
- Zach Herbers, Executive Director, Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CanCham) Vietnam
- Alain Cany, Chair, European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam; Chairman, Jardine Matheson Vietnam
- Delphine Rousselet, Executive Director, European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam
21 Business Leaders that signed at the event yesterday, prior to the event, or have pledged to sign are:
- Jodi West, Country Head, ANZ Bank Vietnam
- Samual Walter, Founder & CEO, Artemis Digital Vietnam
- Chung Seck, Partner, Baker McKenzie
- Guru Mallikarjuna, Managing Director, Bosch Vietnam
- Olivier Rousselet, CEO & Head of Territory, BNP Paribas Vietnam
- Pham Van Thinh, Managing Partner & CEO, Deloitte Vietnam
- Dominic Scriven (by Phạm Nguyễn Vinh), Chairman, Dragon Capital
- Cuong Dang, Partner & CEO, Forbes Vietnam
- Vo Dang Phat, CMO, FPT Corporation
- Dam Bich Thuy, President, Fulbright University Vietnam
- Tina Nguyen, CEO, Generali Vietnam
- Tim Evans, CEO, HSBC Vietnam
- J.P. Pullicino, Country Manager & Chief Representative, Pfizer Vietnam
- Sai Ramana Ponugoti, Country Manager & General Director, Procter & Gamble Vietnam
- Michele Wee, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam
- Nguyen Thi Bich Van, Chairwoman, Unilever Vietnam
- Hao Tran, Co-founder & CEO, Vietcetera Media
- Trang Le, Founder & CEO, Vietnam International Fashion Week
- Don Lam, CEO, VinaCapital
- Rad Kivette, CEO, VinaCapital Foundation
- Peter Heber Percy, Investment Manager, Wardhaven Capital Ltd.