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What made you choose the construction industry? 

I have to admit that when I was invited to the job interview nearly 10 years ago, I wondered a bit about the construction industry. However, when I searched the company “VSL”, I decided to work for VSL. I chose the company rather than focusing only on choosing the industry. 

What are the particular challenges that women have to overcome in the industry?

This is neither my case nor the case of VSL VIETNAM.
I just mention the challenges that women in general have to overcome in the industry.

-    Many women may think the predominant image of construction is that of a male dominated industry requiring physical strength and a good tolerance for outdoor conditions as well as inclement weather. Women need to change their mindset and believe that there are many vacancies for them. Goodcompanies will set enough policies and procedures to protect women from the disadvantages of the industry.

-    The construction industry has long working hours and requires the staff to travel frequently to the construction sites, while flexible working hours are often not applied for the site. It is not easy for womento balance their family commitments and work. In Vietnam, chores around the house and children are sometimes understood as the responsibility of women.

-    Construction is ahigh-risk industry and most protection equipment and uniforms are designedmore for men. Accommodation facilities and toilets are more favourable for males rather than for females. 

-    Female staff and workers are very cautious about the inconvenience or dare not claim legitimate rights since they are in a minority compared to men and most of the top managers are men.

-    Not so many female leaders who are able to bring the opportunities for women to improve their work performance, contribute fresh perspectives and advance their careers. 

How do you think this sector will evolve in terms of the employment of women? What roles will they be required to take on given how the industry will evolve over the next few years? 

With the development of construction technology as well as a growing understanding of women about their rights, and the advancement of society on gender equality, I am confident that there will be more women working in the industry.

I am lucky to be working for a good company. The evidence is that in VSL Vietnam, the percentage of female staff accounts for more than 20% of the staff, in which there are many womenworking in the Design Department, in Quality Control or Document Control, Human Resources, Finance and Contract Management.

As an HR Manager, when recruiting I focus on the right candidate who fits VSL Vietnam in terms of technical knowledge, competencies and overall fit with the team. We do not focus on gender. I ensure candidates are not discriminated against because of gender. Biologically, men and women are different so we have set suitable policies to minimize conditions that could disadvantage women and to actively encourage them to develop their careers. 

It’s time for both business owners and women to change their view on recruitment to create more opportunities for women in the construction field and please believe that women are able to support the business and to be efficient.

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Contact : Nga CHU VIET
HR & Administration Manager VSL Vietnam
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