Women's leadership programme moves to Vietnam

WAN-Ifra's Women in News leadership accelerator programme is underway in Vietnam, this time in a wholly-virtual format.

The two-month career training for women journalists and editors runs from August to September and will include sessions on career development, media management and gender balance in content. With COVID-19 changing the way news organisations operate, the aim is to help women journalists acquire new skills and build their capacity for more successful careers.

The Vietnam launch follows one in in Myanmar earlier this year, and builds on programmes offered in 13 countries across Africa and the Arab region. It is funded by the Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs and the Swedish international development cooperation agency. So far, more than 600 women have benefited since it launched ten years ago.

Participants in the programme receive certified training, professional skills training, gender balance and sexual harassment training, one-to-one coaching to create a three-year career roadmap, and facilitated group mentoring with peers.

Women in News and media development executive director Melanie Walker says newsrooms had been under increased pressure before COVID-19 hit and are now needing to rethink their business and operational models. "This programme will equip some of Vietnam's leading women journalists to ensure they can be part of leading this change in their own organisations, and ultimately build a stronger and more representative business, she says.

Typically held in-person, this year's training has moved fully online. Southeast Asia director Jen Teo says the one-to-one coaching had been one of the major benefits of the Leadership Accelerator programme. "Our coaches provide guidance on career opportunities and decisions, but perhaps more importantly, they can also offer advice and support to participants who are struggling to find balance, especially in these chaotic times," she says. "We know that women are disproportionately disadvantaged from COVID-19 and that for many working women, the added household responsibilities have had an impact on their jobs and mental health.

"The programme and the relationships participants build with their coaches will hopefully offer much-needed support systems."

Journalists who are attending the training work in nine media organisations, with a group of qualified local trainers providing the training.

Contact WIN country lead for Vietnam, Tran Le Thuy (pictured) or email tranle.thuy@womeninnews.org

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