Article 4

Scientist Duong Nguyet Anh – She is indeed a super woman

by Phuong VyThe President of the VCA Vic Bon Nguyen has a long planned family reunion outside Melbourne that he could not be here on time but he’s on his way.
On behalf of the VCA Vic we welcome scientist DNA and her husband Mr Đặng Hữu Thọ.
You know when I first came to Australia some 30 years ago I heard my brother lament that his life would be downhill from here as he learnt about the role reversal of men and women in Australia as a new arrival. According to the welcome session, it is always ladies first and men would rank quite low in the pecking order of our society.
I did not take notice of this and wasn’t old enough to sympathize with him the impact of a role reversal in a new country but I didn’t believe it then and I certainly don’t believe that now.
In Australia the role of the woman is not first. A number of society measures show that:
There is a huge gender pay gap, with overall women being paid less than men;
The percentage of women on the boards of the top 200 ASX companies is only 12.3% according to the 2012 Census;
In the banking sector which is one of the major employment sectors in Australia, women make up over 60% of the total workforce but only less than 20% female are at the senior level;
Across the board, women account for over 50% of the total graduates, but overall less than 20% of the women hold leadership positions;
If we look further, a large proportion successful men have stay home wives but a lot of successful women don’t have children;
And in politics the current Australian government only has one woman in the Cabinet.That’s not withstanding billions of dollars spent by our respective governments and the private sector to reduce the inequity level.
Then when we overlay the Asian element on top of these shocking figures, Asian women at leadership position is virtually non-existent.
That is why the achievements of scientist Duong Nguyet Anh are significant. They are significant because she is a rarity. She defies all odds and achieves all the accolades of her career.
She loves and contributes as an American. She equally loves and participates as an overseas Vietnamese. Her contribution and engagement in both these paths at an elevated is one that deserves admiration.
But on the other hand, she is normal, just like us, as a loving mother, a wife, a daughter and a contributing member of our society.
She is indeed a super woman. And a rare one.
I don’t aspire to be a super woman because simply I can’t.
But I do aspire to scientist DNA’s ability to balance so successfully her career in a very challenging environment and her passion and action for a democratic Vietnam.

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