Ms Van, who serves as the vice director of the Molisa Employment Service Centre in Can Tho, concluded that far too many women continue to be systematically overlooked for promotion, are paid less than male colleagues and still suffer the indignity of sexist comments.
There are 25.82 million working women in the country, which represents almost half (48.48%) of the workforce, she noted, and the overwhelming majority of them are paid less than male colleagues and report they had experienced gender discrimination in the workplace.
Covering a wide age range as well as both full-time and part-time employees, she contended that internal polls conducted by Molisa highlight the disparity between men and women that continues to exist in the work environment.
Many women say they had been overlooked for a job because they were of child bearing age. Alarmingly, some Vietnamese companies have written policies prohibiting a position to be filled by a woman.
Some companies have even gone so far as to post job advertisements specifically stating they are searching for male applicants to fill a position. In many cases the job posting lists a specific age range the prospective employer is seeking.
In addition, the retirement age in Vietnam for men and women discriminates against women.
These surveys underscore the continuing level of sexual discrimination endured by many women in the workplace, said Ms Van, adding that it is depressing that this degree of sexism continues to thrive in the Vietnamese workforce.
Not only are women relegated to lower skilled jobs but pay discrimination is rampant throughout the country, she maintained.
The average monthly earnings for female workers are roughly US$199 (VND4.58 million) while that of males is US$225 (VND5.19 million) and negative consequences of unemployment fall disproportionately on female workers.
Minister Dao Ngoc Dung of Molisa in turn spoke about one of the most problematic trends affecting women climbing the career ladder—the issue of age discrimination against women in Vietnam over the age of 30.
Surprisingly, many Vietnamese businesses are firing women at around the age of 30 in favour of younger women. In many cases, this results in a female worker leaving the metropolitan areas and returning to the countryside to work in agriculture.
Perhaps most astonishingly, Molisa internal polling shows that women themselves are susceptible to employing gender discrimination when hiring staff. An alarming number of women reported that they are reluctant to hire other women who have children or are of child bearing age.
Women are even harder on those colleagues they feel dress provocatively, said the Minister, which serves as a potent reminder that there is much more legislative work that need be done to tackle gender discrimination against women in Vietnam.