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IFC and State Bank of Vietnam Partner to Promote Women’s Leadership in the Banking Sector, Drive Inclusive Growth

Hanoi, Vietnam, March 4, 2021—In a bid to increase the number of women in leadership positions in banks, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country's central bank, are partnering to promote innovative and impactful initiatives for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

In Vietnam, women comprise approximately 60 percent of the entry-level workforce in banks but only around 20 percent in top management positions. At a time when banks in the country face challenges in terms of attracting and retaining skill, a limited pipeline of women talent can prove to be expensive.

In addition to expanding the size of the labor pool, retaining women and promoting gender diversity in senior positions translates into other business benefits. These include improved financial performance, increased market share, greater investor confidence, a boost in innovation, and workforce productivity, among others.

For the banking sector, the State Bank of Vietnam has put a strong emphasis on promoting gender diversity and women's leadership across the banking sector.

"Our IFC research has shown that gender diversity at the top provides better results for companies and better returns for investors. IFC is contributing to this drive by building capacity, raising awareness, and highlighting the value of gender-diverse boards and business leadership in emerging markets," said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Lao PDR. He added, "We are delighted to work with State Bank of Vietnam to promote a robust pipeline of female management talent in the banking sector, strengthening the results in Vietnam's financial sector and boosting economic growth." 

Over the next 18 months, IFC and SBV will work with banks in Vietnam to understand the current status of women's representation in the sector and the perceived barriers to progress. With support from the Facility for Investment Climate Advisory Services (FIAS), the project also offers a peer learning platform for knowledge sharing and learning from global good practices on talent development, succession planning, and creating more flexible and inclusive workplaces.

Under this partnership, IFC and SBV will organize an initiative—Women in Banking Award—to celebrate individuals and organizations that demonstrate achievements in promoting women in leadership through transformational and impactful initiatives.

About IFC

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in 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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