“Mechatronics is totally suitable for women. Some of our best mechatronics technicians are female. They are detailed-oriented, creative and so patient”. Lan Nguyen – HR executive from Sanwa Vietnam – a Japanese joint venture manufacturing electronic measurement devices shared at Girls’ Day on the campus of Bac Ninh College of Industry (BCI).
For the graduating class of 2018 though, there are no female students in any of BCI’s technical occupations (except for Information Technology). But the trend could be reversed this year, and in the coming years, if girls and their families are better aware of the gainful employment opportunities available in technical trades. To this end, the GIZ’s programme “Reform of TVET in Vietnam” and BCI jointly organized a Girl’s Day on August 16th to encourage female representation in traditionally male-dominated occupations.
42 female eleventh graders happily visited BCI’s campus, explored the many workshops at the college, and chatted with BCI’s students, teachers, and HR personnel from 07 companies in the region. For most if not all of the girls, this is their first time ever standing in a car repair workshop, trying their hands at carving small pieces of metal that go into making bikes and motorbikes, or learning that metal cutting technicians are usually recruited for employment by large joint ventures such as Samsung or ABB way before they graduated.
As they started the Girl’s Day journey, 21 girls casted red votes to say a firm NO to technical occupations, while another 21 put in yellow votes, signaling undecided career choices. By the end of the day, the votes came out with 24 reds, 13 yellows, and a hopeful 5 greens. For at least five girls, technical occupations no longer seem off-limits.