1. Corporate culture (50% of marks)
Gender equality is a key value and part of how we see ourselves. Describe your contribution, i.e. the measures, processes and/or approaches you use to make gender equality visible as part of our corporate culture and to champion it both internally and externally as a goal in itself and as a principle to guide action.
GIZ Vietnam has been positioning itself explicitly against sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (SEAH). In early 2018, it developed a policy on anti-sexual harassment in the workplace and introduced this policy to staff through gender events during 2018-2019. Following that, more respective measures have been taken in recent two years (2020-2021). They include:
Developing communication materials:
In 2020, GIZ Vietnam’s Gender Circle developed a package of communication materials on anti-sexual harassment in the workplace, including an animation, roll-ups, a backdrop and slogans. It aimed to enhance awareness for GIZ staff and partners on how to identify different forms of sexual harassment in the workplace, ways of prevention and dealing with this issue as well as to increase their commitment and actions to zero tolerance on this. Different approaches were applied to develop these materials, including:
For animation: It brings about positive and encouraging mood as well as makes audience feel light and soothing/being a part of solution. It illustrates a hand for physical form of sexual harassment, a mouth for verbal form, and eyes for non-verbal form.
For backdrop, standee, slogans: These products deliver a clear message of GIZ’s position in zero tolerance on sexual harassment in the workplace with straightforward statements. The design of these materials is catchy and easy to remember with big size writing for attracting audience’s attention.
Disseminating communication materials:
These communication materials are used in different ways to explain and demonstrate GIZ’s policy of zero tolerance on sexual harassment in the workplace. Many projects have been displaying the standee at the registration desk and show the animation during the registration and tea break time at the trainings and workshops with project partners. The Energy Support Program also added this to the SOP for mandatory implementation. In the meantime, the TVET program used those when cooperating with CSAGA, a local NGO, to run a school tour in 8 TVET institutes during 16 Days of Activism against Gender- Based Violence campaign in 2020. Social Dimension project persuaded the project partner to display a standee at their office. In addition, this good practice was also shared on GIZ Gender Gateway News Channel.
Developing a code of conduct on anti-sexual harassment in the workplace as an annex of the consultancy contract.
In early 2021, Country Gender Focal Point cooperated with Department of Contract & Procurement to develop a code of conduct on anti-sexual harassment in the workplace, as an annex of the local contract. It aimed to strengthen service providers’ commitments on prevention of this issue by signing the code of conduct. Currently, it has been applied to all kinds of contracts with national service providers.
2. Gender competence (30% of marks)
Describe the context, your organisational unit and the challenges faced by your organisational unit or country and explain how you contributed to enhancing gender competence among your colleagues or in your organisational unit, a specific team or the company. Share the approaches that have proven successful.
In Vietnam, sexual harassment in the workplace is often seen as an extremely sensitive issue. For most it is taboo, due to the limitations of traditional gender hierarchies. Victims of sexual harassment are predominantly women who are often perceived as being a legitimate and natural target for flirting by men. Regarding to legal framework, sexual harassment in the workplace was clearly defined for the first time in the revised Labour Code 2019, which was in line with ILO definition, but not covered in other broader legislation. Meanwhile, according to the National Study on Violence Against Women in Viet Nam (2019) , more than one in ten women (11.4 %) experienced one or more kinds of harassment and abuse in their workplace, schools or public places. The most mentioned form was receiving unwanted personal electronic messages with sexual content (mentioned by 7.6 % of women), followed by being grouped or touched sexually on a bus or other public place (4.9 %).
With an aim of raising awareness and understanding for staff on sexual harassment in the workplace, GIZ Viet Nam’s Gender Circle have been carrying out some capacity building activities, including:
- Conducting a training workshop on anti-sexual harassment in the workplace for staff:
In late 2020, the Sustainable Economic Development (SED) cluster organized one day training workshop for cluster’s staff. It also extended to members of National Staff Representative Committee (NSRC) and other project gender focal points. This activity helped participants answer three key questions: WHY prevention and responding to sexual harassment in the workplace is important; WHAT is sexual harassment in the workplace; and HOW to prevent and report sexual harassment in compliance with GIZ’s grievance procedures. The training method was to combine the powerpoint presentation with a quiz game, and a role play of different scenarios. At the end of the training, a photo section was taken to show the joint commitment of participants to zero tolerance on sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Organising brown bag lunch events on SEAH at project offices:
With technical advice from country gender focal point, project gender focal points worked together to organize brown bag lunch events at project offices to raise awareness for team members on this topic. Due to COVID-19 situation at different points of time, these activities were conducted virtually or face to face. For example, Energy Support Program organized a face-to-face section while Green Cluster did it by online format. The event often started with a speech delivered by the Program Director to show his/her own commitment to prevent and deal with this issue. Following that, project members participated in a quiz game on key concepts of sexual harassment in the workplace before the above-mentioned animation was displayed. A project gender focal point then briefly presented GIZ Vietnam’s policy and grievance procedures, followed by a Q&A and open discussion. A photo shooting to show a joint commitment of project managers and team members to zero tolerance on sexual harassment in the workplace would close the event.
- Integrating the topic of anti-sexual harassment in the introductory day for new staff.
Country Gender Focal Point is responsible for carrying out this section which often starts with the display of above-mentioned animation, followed by a brief presentation of GIZ Vietnam’s policy and grievance procedure. Like other activities, a photo shooting was taken by the end of the section to show their commitments to zero tolerance on sexual harassment in the workplace.
3. Cooperation (20% of marks)
Gender equality cannot be achieved by individuals alone. It is a joint task – how did you go about it? Who did you cooperate with? What were the major challenges you encountered individually or together? What were the three key success factors? What were the outcomes?
“Promoting gender equality and women’s rights is everyone’s task” has been regularly communicated to all staff by management team. In practice, gender related activities could not be implemented by gender circle members only if there is no support and cooperation from others. For instance, country gender focal point worked with Head of Finance & Administration to develop the code of conduct on anti-sexual harassment in the workplace as an annex of national service provider contracts. Admin & finance teams of different projects make sure above-mentioned animation and standee to be displayed at project events, and code of conduct to be signed by consultants. Meanwhile, Human Resource team integrates the topic of anti-sexual harassment in the workplace in the introductory day for new staff and delivers this section if the country gender focal point can’t arrange her time.
A remaining challenge is that the project gender focal points are often overloaded with their daily work and most of them do not have gender expertise. They would need more time to enrich their knowledge and experiences through learning by doing and sharing with other gender circle members. Besides, the complicated situation of COVID-19 is also to challenge to carry out activities.
Key success factors:
- Strong commitment and support of managers: Country management team has shown their strong commitment and support to make a safe working environment. For instance, the Cluster Coordinator of Energy Support Program directed to display standee at the registration desk and show the animation during the coffee break at every activity, which was added to the SOP for mandatory implementation right after communication materials were introduced. Or Cluster Coordinators participated in brown bag lunch events to communicate clear position of GIZ Vietnam on zero tolerance to sexual harassment.
- Being creative and innovative to communicate GIZ Viet Nam’s position on zero tolerance to sexual harassment: “How to communicate GIZ Vietnam’s position on zero tolerance to sexual harassment in the workplace appropriately and effectively?” was a difficult question because this topic is extremely sensitive in Viet Nam context. After thoughtful discussion and exchange, Gender Circle members came to an idea of developing communication materials which should make audience to feel light and be a part of solution. Displaying video and standee at the registration and tea-break time of project events could also make participants feel less pressured to absorb the message.
- Being flexible and adaptive to situation of COVID-19 at different points of time: The gender circle members foresaw the complicated situation of COVID-19 when preparing brown bag lunch events. Therefore, activities were formatted in the way that could be organized virtually or face to face. For example, the quiz game was developed in the Kahoot, an online apps, which enables participants to participate via their own smartphones anywhere, office space or at home.
Some initial outcomes have been achieved as below:
- Topic of anti-sexual harassment at workplace has been integrated in the annual country planning and review. In particular, “02 SEAH trainings/events are conducted at country/project offices” and “annex of anti-sexual harassment in local contracts are developed and applied” are two indicators of 2021 country action plan.
- It is mandatory to attach the code of conduct as an annex of national service provider contract and to organize a section on anti-sexual harassment in the workplace at the introductory day for new staff.
- The animation and standee on anti-sexual harassment in the workplace have been regularly displayed at most of project events.
- A partner of the Social Dimension project agreed to display GIZ’s standee on anti-sexual harassment in the workplace at their office.