Leveraging phenomenal female human capital growth – with women’s influence being felt in all spheres of the Kingdom’s business sector – Cambodia is enjoying the fruits of a shift in gender parity.
Co-founder and CEO of ATCAM Consulting Co Ltd Nuch Kimline says women’s economic capacity cannot be ignored anymore as Cambodian females take centre stage in every professional arena.
“According to government statistics, there are more than 500,000 SMEs in Cambodia and 63 per cent are owned by women entrepreneurs. So women are a great driving force for the country’s economic growth.
“Women are also important human resources in building families, society and the nation. When a country has strong human capital, it will truly prosper,” said Kimline.
Cambodia is welcoming more women into the workforce – recognising their talents and knowledge – something she says remains vital for societal progress.
“Times are changing and women are now more valued and privileged. Women can do more than men, such as be housewife, mother and also businesswomen.
“Therefore, women can play a big part in developing human capital and the economy,” Kimline said.
Kimline, who is the current president of the Siem Reap chapter of the Cambodian Women Entrepreneurs Association, advises females to be receptive to new concepts to compete in the fast-paced business environment.
ATCAM Consulting is involved in offering corporate services to set up local businesses, as well as accounting and tax consultation.
Taking risks, testing unconventional ideas and accepting the results no matter the outcome are, Kimline says, all part of the learning curve, tough as it may sound.
“Things might not meet our expectations every time, so when we fail we must think that failure is a part of the journey of growth.
“Don’t be afraid to fail – if you don’t fail, you can’t find success. So when we fail, we must stand up and move on faster because we have a long way to go.
“In addition to preparing ourselves for new challenges in the business world, we need to follow updated daily news on the economy and information related to our companies so that we can respond on time during any situation,” she said.
But it can be a long road to success, says Kimline, due to societal and family demands that can hinder women from competing on a level playing field with their male counterparts.
“There are many obstacles along the business journey that they can face, such as family and social barriers that make it difficult for women to move as fast as men.
“Therefore, empathy and the empowering of women is what families and society need to do consistently to promote the values of women,” she said.
Kimline has more than 15 years of experience in various sectors such as trading, tourism, construction, manufacturing, real estate and agriculture.
Age-old traditions plus gender-bias attitudes at home and the workplace can continue to hinder women’s career growth despite the high success rates of Cambodian women in the public and private sectors, says Kimline, who holds a master’s degree in finance.
“A major challenge is that they can find it difficult to travel far from their families, and society tends to judge them when they meet male business partners.
“Some women have low self-esteem and usually underestimate their own competence. Therefore, for women to overcome challenges, they must learn to believe in themselves, while trust and encouragement from the family is crucial,” Kimline said.
And in the workplace, she says employers should provide the necessary training for women to realise their potential.
“Companies need to develop positive gender policies. Women should be given the same job opportunities and leadership roles if they have the same abilities as men.
“Employers should supply leadership and management training and provide further knowledge and skills to help build their capacity,” she said.