Connecting Disadvantaged Youths to Closing the Digital Gender Gap

A closing workshop for the “Fit for Future” project, bridging the gender gap in the Information & Communication Technologies industry for disadvantaged youths was held in Hanoi.


Plan International Vietnam, along with implementing partners FPT Polytechnic and REACH, hosted the closing workshop for the “Fit for Future” project on September 23. The workshop was attended by over 50 delegates from ADECCO Vietnam, representatives from the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training, Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, partnering enterprises, and Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) students from the project.

Bridging Digital Gender Divide for Disadvantaged Youths
At the workshop. Photo: Plan Vietnam

The “Fit for Future” project, sponsored by ADECCO, ran from September 2018 to 2022 with the aim of promoting female representation in the ICT industry and closing the gender gap in the tech field.

Over the course of four years, the project supported 800 disadvantaged youths, with girls accounting for 44% of the participants, to graduate from training courses and provided career guidance after graduation. More than 85% of the graduates found employment, with the number rising to 90% for female students. The graduates are highly regarded by recruiters for their technical skills and professional work ethics.

Throughout the project, REACH and FPT Polytechnic provided extensive support to students, parents, and partnering enterprises. This support included recruitment, training, internships, and real work experiences. The project also focused on developing students’ soft skills such as teamwork, communication, and time management.

Pham Thu Ba, Acting Country Director of Plan International Vietnam, stated, “We are here to celebrate the achievements of the past four years, but more importantly, to share our successes and exchange lessons learned for future projects. This is a new journey towards success for our partners and the students benefiting from this project, as well as Vietnamese youth, especially young women, young people in vulnerable groups, and young people from ethnic minorities in remote areas. Our goal is to help them overcome barriers and gender stereotypes, achieve stable careers, and have a brighter future.”

The representative of FPT Polytechnic College expressed their honor in contributing to this meaningful project. They emphasized that equipping young people with professional knowledge and skills also nurtures their independence and competitiveness, providing them with more opportunities for development.

Pham Thi Thanh Tam, REACH Director, shared that through the project, REACH has organized awareness-raising activities, provided career guidance and motivation for young women facing difficult circumstances, and encouraged their participation in REACH courses. More than 80% of IT trainees found employment within 6 months of graduating, with the female employment rate exceeding 90%, showcasing REACH’s commitment and the efforts of the students to break gender stereotypes in career choices.

Bridging Digital Gender Divide for Disadvantaged Youths
The project supports 800 youths from disadvantaged backgrounds, with girls accounting for 44% of the participants, to graduate from training courses and provided career guidance after their graduation. Photo: Plan Vietnam

Tam added, “Removing gender barriers in career choices is an ongoing effort that requires the cooperation of multiple parties. We believe that the solutions implemented by the project will continue to create a better future for disadvantaged youth, especially women and girls.

Thuong, a student from the project, shared her journey, stating, “I used to doubt my abilities and my family’s background. But thanks to the project, I am now the primary income earner for my family and lead my graphic design team. I also had the wonderful opportunity to be a youth speaker at an event with the US Embassy on ‘Girls in ICT Day’ to inspire other girls like me to take up the challenge and promote gender equality.”

Hannah Nguyen