Creating Gender Equality through Trading Opportunities

Creating Gender Equality through Trading Opportunities – Laos, Vietnam and Australia

Procurement and trade are huge economic levers that also drive social change. Femeconomy have partnered with members Social Good Outpost’s Director Elise Stephenson and Temples and Markets Owner Judith Treanor to develop trade links between women owned businesses across Australia, Laos and Vietnam, through the “Creating Gender Equality Through Trading Opportunities” initiative.

This project is proudly supported by the Australia-ASEAN Council and funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Four intercultural virtual round tables will be convened and facilitated in the first quarter of 2021 to explore the barriers and enablers in accessing trading opportunities for women owned businesses in Laos, Vietnam and Australia. The purpose of the discussions will be to exchange insights and produce findings that can be implemented by businesses across the three countries.


The first two round tables will be hosted by Elise Stephenson. Elise is a multi-award winning strategist, researcher and entrepreneur, and is a sought after consultant in Australia and Asia on women’s leadership, gender equality, next generation leadership, social change and social marketing.

The second two round tables will be hosted by Judith Treanor. Judith is the Owner of Temples and Markets and online curated store that supports South East Asian artisans into a better life, the Founder of the Pop Up Collective in Australia and also travel expeditions – Shop, Eat, Love Our Vietnam.

Femeconomy will be inviting some of its Australian business members to participate in the discussions.


Currently, women owned businesses attract less than 2% of the global procurement market, yet in Australia 34.8% of businesses are classified as women owned. Around one in three business owners in Vietnam is a woman. According to the World Bank’s enterprise surveys, approximately 43% of enterprises in Laos were partially or fully owned by women. In Laos the female business community plays a pivotal role in driving social transformation and economic development, but many still lack access to networks, capital and skills training.

The Creating Gender Equality through Trading Opportunities project will broaden awareness and understanding across Australia, Laos and Vietnam of each other’s culture, values and traditions through increased people‐to‐people capabilities, strengths and opportunities.


You are the female economy. Whether you are a female consumer, business owner or a woman in the workforce, you can create gender equality by choosing female led brands.

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Posted by Jade Collins - Femeconomy Director

Jade Collins has 20 years’ global experience in corporate executive Human Resources and management consulting roles in the Mining, Energy and Aerospace industries, leading large scale, complex multi-million-dollar change management programs. Jade finds the combination of her HR, Psychology and MBA qualifications and her leadership experience is invaluable for increasing gender equality in leadership across industries. Jade was a member of the Queensland Government's Strategic Advisory Group for the Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards Initiative and the 2019 CQU Alumni of the Year for Social Impact for her work with Femeconomy.