Gender diversity in Vietnam E-Commerce Market

Gender diversity in Vietnam E-Commerce Market

A recent  study conducted by iPrice found a lack of women leaders in higher management levels of Vietnam’s e-commerce market.

The study was derived by analysing hundreds of top & mid-management personnel from Vietnam most visited e-commerce platforms on the Map of E-Commerce

The study found that men held 63 percent of management positions (C-level, Director, Head, Manager) while only 37 percent were held by women. The disparity in Vietnam is much larger when compared to Thailand and Malaysia. The number of women held management positions in Thailand and Malaysia is at 40% & 42% respectively.

A larger gap is seen when we move up the career ladder. Men take up 77 percent of C-level roles (founders, directors, chiefs, c-suites) whereas women take up only 23 percent. At Director level, men also dominate up to 71 percent, leaving only 29 percent of women holding the title.

It should be noted that there is no lack of women in mid-management levels. Up to 44 percent of women held Head positions while 45 percent held Manager titles. While women are well represented at mid-management levels, very few carried on to the highest management levels.

Addressing the gender gap in Vietnam’s E-Commerce market

Women are turning into one of the biggest demographics of online shopping in Southeast Asia. When it comes to the amount spent online, women tend to dedicate more time to online shopping. Data from comScore shows women spend 2.9 percent of their online time for retail purposes while men only spend 2.4 percent. Perhaps this is because women find online shopping as a form of entertainment, or retail therapy, and men as a necessity.

If women are making the majority of online purchases, e-commerce players must cater to their needs and interests and pay attention to this demographic. This including the need for e-commerce businesses to overcome the gender disparity. Limiting leadership roles overwhelmingly to men means that the business is unnecessarily restricting itself to a smaller leadership talent pool. Opening leadership more to women can enhance Vietnam’s leadership development.

E-commerce businesses must undertake several efforts to increase the number of women in top management levels. First and foremost, e-commerce companies must create an environment that is friendly to women’s leadership and provide additional supports such as childcare, training or extension of the retirement age. Cultivating potential women leaders at early stage of careers also help women carry their forward their career in the companies.

Foreign involvement in Vietnam’s top E-commerce platforms 

A side research also reveal that foreigners make up a high proportion on Top Management Level of Vietnam’s e-commerce players. 50 percent of foreign held Director positions and at C-level, foreigners made up to 43 percent.

According to a recent report by Vietnam E-Commerce Association (VECOM), in 2017, 31% of enterprises faced difficulty in recruiting talents who have e-commerce background. On an interview with media, Tiki CEO also shared that his company had to solve this issue through inner staff training. In the beginning, the company had to recruit world-class talents and use them to train the Vietnamese talents within the organization.