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In just 10 months, Dr. Bui Thi Huong Giang launched a project to build a network for female leaders among universities in the northern provinces of Vietnam. This included the 6 weeks Dr. Bui, Vice Director, Department of International Cooperation, and Vice President, Centre for Human Resources Development for Foreign Language Studies, Thai Nguyen University, spent studying in Australia and attending training sessions in Vietnam under an Australia Awards Short Course, the Women in Leadership Journey.

Ms Huong Giang


Huong Giang’s project aims to develop a network for female leaders among universities in the northwestern and northeastern regions of Vietnam. Through knowledge and models learnt in Australia, she understands the great importance of building a female university leadership network which supports and facilitates women’s participation in management, politics, and gender equity in leadership.

“This network will connect members and help them learn about and share professional work, personal matters, even difficult stories. One voice might be unnoticed. However, with the efforts of many people in the network, our voices will become stronger and will be spread further, contributing to changes in gender equity among leaders in Vietnam,” Huong Giang shared.

An important feature of the project is strong commitment from high-level leaders, mostly men, in documents and practical actions during the establishment of this network, together with the commitment and support from other organizations and agencies.


“Before the course, I acknowledged that gender equity is implemented at university leadership level, as described at resolutions, documents requiring a percentage of women leaders. However, this is a one-way approach, women leadership should be promoted by a two-way approach, which means that women shall be confident to speak out and express their opinions. The Women in Leadership Journey course has brought us confidence and passion to change ourselves and make changes at our workplace and community.”

After a 10-month journey, being inspired by Australian experts and her fellow participants, Huong Giang discovered herself by determining her strengths and inner power to implement and realize her long-awaited dreams. Only one thought was in her mind: “I must do it, changes can be made by starting to do something!”

Dr Huong Giang

Dr. Bui Thi Huong Giang (second from left) received a Certificate of Participation in the Australia Awards Short Course – Women in Leadership Journey

In order to develop the present project, Huong Giang has received significant support from Thai Nguyen University leaders, the Australian Embassy, Aus4Skills program, Flinders University, which facilitated the course, and her team members and family. Over the 10 months, Huong Giang experienced 6 weeks’ study in Australia and follow-up training sessions in Vietnam which provided essential knowledge, and skills and inspired her to apply these in Australia and Vietnam. Other important factors, such as having models introduced by experts, have helped Huong Giang gain more confidence in applying them in Vietnam and in her organization.


Currently, the female university leadership network in the northern region comprises 189 members, of which 125 are female and 64 are male. Speaking of male members in a female leadership network, Dr. Bui emphasized: “I think the opinion and perspective of male leaders play a vital role in helping female leaders make changes. In addition, male leaders account for a majority of high-level leadership at universities. Therefore, with the support and understanding from male colleagues, we will achieve a breakthrough in supporting women’s leadership.”

“My professional tasks at Thai Nguyen University are not significantly associated with gender equity. However, I have applied the knowledge I gained in all my daily work. Since then, my colleagues and friends said that I have changed positively. I always keep in my mind one commitment: listening, sharing and helping. I believe that capable women will become leaders and create important changes in their organizations,” Dr. Bui Thi Huong Giang said.

A network among universities in the northern provinces is not the final outcome of the project, as Dr. Bui has set her sights on a national network. With an effective network operation, benefits to individuals and organizations will be clearly determined, encouraging more and more people to participate in the network. “I have been putting effort into spreading the positive impacts of the network, building short-term and long-term strategies, and calling for support and involvement of the network members,” said Dr. Bui.

Currently, Huong Giang will accelerate the network operations and design effective activities to expand the network. A network Action Plan will be soon released. As expected, clearer numbers and indicators will be summarized and reviewed in 1-2 years in order to evaluate their selected path. To this young doctorate, the closing of a 10-month journey is the starting point of a new a self-discovery path: the adventure of high-level women leaders in the future.

Source: Translation of an article on Education and Times Newspaper

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