Forum promotes diversity and inclusion in business

Business leaders, representatives of civil society, international organizations and consumers all agreed that promoting diversity and inclusion makes business sense at an event on inclusive business on October 11.

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At the event (Photo: UNDP)

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Association (VUSTA), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP) jointly held the Inclusive Business Forum in Ho Chi Minh City on the eve of the Vietnam Entrepreneur's Day.

“UNDP believes in leaving no one behind, that is the best and the only way forward to achieving sustainable development and protecting our single planet,” said Dao Xuan Lai, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative in Vietnam.

“Many Vietnamese businesses are already greening their investments, generating decent jobs, creating opportunities to reduce inequalities in the workforce and challenging stereotypes, including for Persons with Disabilities and LGBTI persons. The Inclusive Business Forum provides a space to recognize and promote these leaders in business,” Lai said.

Participants at the forum said with a diverse work staff, regardless of their background, sexual orientation, gender identity, or being differently abled, businesses in Vietnam can tap into a pool of new talents and innovative ideas to keep up with rapidly changing markets.

The Inclusive Business Forum showcased examples of the innovation, business, and equality case for diversity and inclusion and discussed how these seemingly competing interests could not only complement but mutually reinforced each other.

CEOs, directors, managers and business leaders of multinational corporations, Vietnamese businesses, SMEs discussed the challenges and solutions associated with integrating diversity and inclusion into business operations, and to explore potential areas of collaboration for future endeavours.

Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company (PNJ) talked about their progressive marketing campaigns in using same sex couples to model their jewelry. This messaging helps to challenge stereotypes and combat discrimination against LGBTI, while PNJ can develop their consumer base by opening up their product and service lines to niche market segments.

Meanwhile, Francesco Tran Van Lieng, President of Vinacacao, said: “Vietnamcacao focuses on enhancing the social responsibility by keeping pace with 4.0 technology trend to help the disabled and less competitive labour forces to integrate into the working environment and contribute to the business growth, thereby redistributing benefits to society.”

The forum is part of the En Xanh (Blue Swallows) programe, the first in Vietnam to seek and honour business initiatives for sustainable development.

The programme, jointly held by the VCCI, VUSTA, UNDP and the CSIP, runs from August to October 2019.

VNA