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IFC Promotes Gender Equality to Drive Business Growth in Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam, March 19, 2019 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is supporting companies in Vietnam to improve working environments and enhance business performance through closing gender gaps.
Under a new gender initiative, IFC will partner with Maxport Limited Vietnam, a garment supplier to top global brands, to implement gender-smart solutions to strengthen and grow its workforce, capturing future growth. Maxport currently has over 5,000 employees – 80 percent female - in four factories located in Hanoi as well as Nam Dinh and Thai Binh provinces. The company plans to double its workforce by 2020 to increase production capacity and expand global market access.    
“Our workers are our most important asset. This partnership emphasizes our commitment to developing employees from within. With female workers accounting for the vast majority of our workforce, we believe gender-smart improvements will create the most inclusive, supportive, and healthy working environment for everyone, and eventually contribute to the company’s overall performance,” said Nicholas Strokes, CEO at Maxport Limited Vietnam.
Throughout 2019, IFC will work with the company to improve human resource policies and practices, including data analytics, career planning, and enhanced childcare support, as well as build foundations for a gender-inclusive board of directors.
With IFC support, Maxport aims to be one of the first companies in Vietnam to obtain Economic Dividend for Gender Equality (EDGE) global certification - the leading global assessment methodology and business certification standard for gender equality.
These initiatives are expected to help Maxport reduce staff turnover and unplanned absenteeism, saving up to $1 million in production costs a year.
“The garment sector is a major force of economic development and employment in many emerging markets, especially Vietnam. The sector provides jobs for nearly three million workers, mostly women, and generates annual exports worth more than $22 billion in the country,” said Amy Luinstra, IFC East Asia Pacific Gender Lead. “Promoting gender equality in the workplace not only makes good business sense, it also creates opportunities for companies like Maxport to be part of the global movement on diversity and inclusion, certainly something global brands and business partners value.”
Over the next two years, in partnership with the World Bank Group Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality and the government of Australia, IFC will be conducting research to make the case for gender-smart employment as well as working directly with Vietnamese companies in the garment, agricultural and finance sectors to help them adopt gender smart employment strategy toward sustainable growth.
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
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