ofi Vietnam fosters gender equality in workplace

By Phong Van   December 19, 2022 | 08:00 pm PT
Over the past 25 years, ofi Vietnam has been recognized as one of the best workplaces in Asia, with commitments to promote gender equality in the workplace.

As one of the leading producers, processors, and exporters of nuts, spices, and coffee in the country, ofi Vietnam invests in its people to drive performance and productivity through a three-pronged approach, including employee engagement activities, diverse and inclusive culture, and talent development programs.

ofi Vietnam implements various approaches to equal recruitment, promoting women’s career development and leadership. Photo by ofi Vietnam

ofi Vietnam implements various approaches to promote equality in recruitment, support women’s career development and leadership. Photo by ofi Vietnam

Some of these initiatives include building an inspiring and equal working environment for female employees through personal development programs aimed at uplifting and strengthening women leadership. The Globally Reaching ofi Women (GROW) and the Globally Lifting ofi Women (GLOW) programs provide critical skills for female employees and leadership skillsets through various training sessions.

"GROW program is a meaningful and practical program for all ofi’s employees," said Nguyen Thi Loan, Procurement and Planning Manager for Nuts Business, ofi Vietnam. "GROW covers a wide range of topics, including soft skills, career development, mental health, and even personal care, etc. We gained confidence and learned new skills as a result of the program, which helped us advance in our careers. I really like the topic of career development and hope that there will be more internal workshops about this topic."

Meanwhile, Mai Thy, a human resources professional working in Green Coffee Business team of ofi Vietnam, is interested in the usefulness of GROW program. "Upskilling is important to make your skills relevant to the times, especially to empower women. GROW is like a forum with a lot of interesting topics for us to discuss, share and learn new things, such as big picture thinking or problem-solving skills," she said.

They are two of many employees joining 15 sessions of GROW activities in the past eight months.

Amit Verma, Country Head, ofi Vietnam, said as ofi Vietnam continues its trajectory in Vietnam and in the region, its three-pronged employee engagement approach is fundamental in maintaining and supporting sustainable growth.

"We remain committed to delivering fresh ideas, ingredients, and solutions to our customers, with a purpose in creating naturally healthy and delicious food and beverage products," he said, adding that ofi’s visionary HR policies and strategies, leadership endorsements of inclusive practices and other people-centric initiatives are crucial in building a positive and welcoming workplace.

This has been reflected through consecutive wins of ofi Vietnam at the Kincentric Best Employers Award from 2019 to 2021, as well as at the HR Asia Best Companies to Work For in Asia from 2018 to 2022.

"To support our goals, purpose, and quality, we must continue to invest in our people, strengthen and improve our policies, empower our employees, and advocate inclusion habits to promote ofi as one of the best places to work in Vietnam," added Amit Verma.

ofi has emerged as a national winner in the 2022 United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (UN WEP) Award for Vietnam under the Leadership Commitment and Action category.

ofi Vietnam conferred UN WEP Award by building an inclusive and equal workplace. Photo by ofi Vietnam

ofi Vietnam receives the UN WEP Award by building an inclusive and equal workplace. Photo by ofi Vietnam

The UN Women WEPs Award represents recognition of exemplary company efforts for gender equality aligned to the Women’s Empowerment Principles. The WEPs are seven guiding principles providing a roadmap for a more equal, inclusive and sustainable future.

Usha Kakaria-Cayaux, Chief Human Resources Officer, ofi, said: "This latest award is a fantastic achievement from the Vietnam team. It demonstrates the impact of our global and local efforts in promoting Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (IDE) practices to encourage a safe and inclusive work environment. We believe that through strong leadership commitment to IDE, we will be able to create a positive workplace that fosters a sense of belonging for every ofi employee globally, enabling them to unlock their full potential and passion."

The UN WEP Award 2022 is an annual event organized by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and Vietnam Women Entrepreneur Council (VWEC). This year, the 2022 WEPs Awards were supported by the Australian Government, a long-time supporter of equality activities in Vietnam, including UN Women’s work.

ofi has established the Inclusion, Diversity and Equality Council of ofi (IDEO), making IDEO a key organizational prerogative.

Featured programs include GROW (Globally Reaching ofi Women), which carries on the mission of uplifting women through a globally inclusive ecosystem. The program focuses on three pillars: career, culture and community to develop, connect and inspire ofi women locally and globally.

Another program, GLOW (Globally Lifting ofi Women), builds leadership strength across women workforce and develops a culture that actively leverages diverse competencies and perspectives to create breakthrough synergies.

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