Many job ads in Vietnam don't even try to hide gender bias: study

By Thanh Nien News, TN News

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Creating a gender-sensitive business environment that promotes work-life balance must be a priority. Photo: Nghia Pham Creating a gender-sensitive business environment that promotes work-life balance must be a priority. Photo: Nghia Pham
One in five job postings in Vietnam includes a gender requirement that usually favors male applicants, shutting women out of higher-skilled and better-paid jobs, according to a new study. 
Up to 20 percent of 12,300 job postings in Vietnam’s four largest job portals included gender requirements, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and recruitment firm Navigos Search said in their new study. 
Among job advertisements with gender preferences, 70 percent sought to fill the positions with men whereas only 30 percent wanted female applicants.
The study found that men were most often targeted for highly skilled jobs or jobs that require more outdoor activities, such as architects, drivers, engineers and IT professionals.
Meanwhile, women were often preferred for office and support occupations, such as receptionists, assistants, accountants, human resources and general affairs.
“Job advertisements should avoid any mention of gender as this represents a direct form of gender-based discrimination, and such 'glass walls' will result in gender segregation by occupation and job functions,” said Gyorgy Sziraczki, ILO's Vietnam director.
“This will limit the ability of businesses to fully benefit from the talent of newly recruited employers.”
Pay gap
By advertising jobs with a gender preference, women’s and even men’s access to certain types of jobs is restricted, thereby depriving them of important opportunities in the labor market, the study concluded. 
“The majority of occupations where male workers are preferred are higher-skilled and better paid than most of those for women,” said Nguyen Thi Van Anh, managing director of Navigos Search.
Up to 83 percent of management job postings with gender preferences required male applicants. Significantly, all of the manager posts were exclusively for men.
As part of the study, a survey with employers in the private sector in January 2015 also revealed that two thirds of employers ask questions about the applicants’ availability to work outside of normal working hours.
Up to 43 percent of employers also seek to discover applicants’ marital status and 30 percent tried to find out their future plans to have children.
“Creating a gender-sensitive business environment that promotes work-life balance must be a priority. This would benefit workers, companies and the society as a whole – a mutual gain to everyone,” said Sziraczki.
The study analyzed postings on Vietnamworks, JobStreet, CareerBuilder and CareerLink between mid-November 2014 and mid-January 2015.

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