Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vietnamese women active in business

I wonder if there are more women than men in Vietnam? Perhaps there were a lot of men killed during the Vietnam war. No doubt women held positions of responsibility during the communist period as well and this carried on during the transition back to capitalism. Communism has always theoretically stood for the equality of women but as with other ideals is not always evident in actually existing communist states.


Wall Street Journal hails Vietnamese businesswomen



The Wall Street Journal run a front-page article on the outstanding role of Vietnamese women in doing business in the Southeast Asian country.

Author Laura Santini related the life of Nguyen Thi Mai Thanh from Ho Chi Minh City, who had worked as a volunteer medic in the south, contracted malaria and dodged US attacks before going to the north and then studying abroad.

Returning to Vietnam, Ms. Mai Thanh took a job at the Refrigeration & Electrical Engineering Corp (REE) based in Ho Chi Minh City, and quickly moved up the ranks to become the leader.

"Today, life has improved markedly for the 54-year-old Ms. Mai Thanh," the July 19 edition said. As chairwoman and chief executive of REE Corp., a home-appliance, construction and real-estate company, she is one of Vietnam's most successful and wealthiest businesswomen. She is said to be the ninth richest person in Vietnam with a net worth of around 55 million USD.

According to the author, such success stories for women are not uncommon at the pinnacle of Vietnam's business world.

In all, companies that represent more than 30% of the country's stock-market capitalisation have a woman at the helm. In the US, fewer than 2% of fortune 500 companies are run by women. Meanwhile in the Republic of Korea and Japan, women are often discouraged from pursuing careers and seldom break into upper-echelon corporate positions, the paper said.


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