From Asia to Africa: Embracing Gender Equity on International Women's Day l BGI Perspectives


This year's International Women's Day theme is #EmbraceEquity. While celebrating women's accomplishments, the International Women's Day website notes that, "People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action."

We interview four BGI Genomics staff from around the world 

We spoke with BGI Genomics staff from Thailand, Australia, Peru and Ethiopia respectively: Ice (Oraphan Wanacharoen), Zoe (Li Xiang), Christian (Christian Virrueta), and Elbetel (Elbetel Wondimu), in order to shed light from female and male perspectives, on what more can be done to embrace equity and how businesses support this mission.

Q1: What does gender equity mean to you?


In my opinion, equitable outcomes lead to equality.

Equity does not mean that women and men are the same, but that rights, responsibilities, and opportunities do not depend on their gender.


As a woman in Ethiopia, my way to fight for my equity rights is by chasing my career and choosing the path women are not supposed to do. I put self-development as my priority.


I have a new identity as a mom working in BGI Australia. Gender equity for me means that after taking a long maternal leave in 2022, I have even more opportunities to assist in new business development.

While I am excited about my new identity as a mother caring for my baby, but it is difficult to balance this with my career. Men do not have this problem; they are expected to put in more effort at work.

Q2: In your country, what more do you think can be done to #EmbraceEquity?


Everyone in society should play an important role in promoting gender equity to the best of our abilities by respecting one another and not judging people based on their gender.

It is critical to respect people's abilities regardless of gender, which includes avoiding gender discrimination and stereotypes. Everyone can contribute to the development of a society that values and respects everyone by fostering an inclusive and diverse culture.


Ethiopia, like any other developing country, has more work to do to embrace equity. Because I was rejected by another company solely on the basis of my gender, I will emphasize the importance of equal opportunities during the hiring process, and society should pursue fair competition during promotion and training programs to address employment inequality.

Gender equity can be achieved at home by teaching every household to handle any work without labeling it as "man's" or "woman's" work. It is critical to recognize that women's empowerment is a social, economic, and cultural issue that affects everyone. We can create a better future for everyone if we embrace equity.


We should encourage more women to pursue STEM careers, close the gender pay gap, and promote gender diversity in leadership positions. Organizations and governments can create a level playing field for men and women by addressing these issues, ensuring that everyone can reach their full potential.


It's important to change attitudes and behaviors towards women and this is a significant challenge in Peru. Laws and policies alone cannot solve the problem of gender equity, but they are important tools that can help change social norms and attitudes.

Q3: How can we support women in the workplace?


BGI Genomics has given me the freedom to express myself and my opinions while also respecting the rights of others. Our mission is to provide genomic services to everyone, regardless of background, which aligns with the gender equity mission because it works to ensure that everyone has equal access to resources and opportunities.


I've been with BGI Genomics (BGI Health Ethiopia PLC.,) for eight months, first as a logistic specialist in the company's factory, then as a laboratory technician in the laboratory. In my opinion, #embraceequity is fully operational in BGI Genomics. There are numerous opportunities available in our company based on the individual's ability and the company serves as a good example for gender equity in Ethiopia.


As a new mom, I face pressure to prioritize my role as a parent. This may lead to feelings of guilt or inadequacy as competing priorities come in. I am grateful to my department and supervisor for providing adequate support for me, such as more flexible schedules that allow me to resolve the conflict between these two identities.

Concluding remarks:

We can see from the perspectives shared in this article that there are many ways to embrace equity, such as encouraging women to pursue STEM careers, reducing the gender pay gap, promoting gender diversity in leadership roles, providing educational opportunities for women, ensuring equal opportunity during the recruitment process, and promoting equality at home.

As the International Women's Day website puts it, "A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society's DNA.” In our view, gender equity requires a societal commitment to respect, dignity, and fairness for all people. 

About BGI Genomics

BGI Genomics, headquartered in Shenzhen China, is the world's leading integrated solutions provider of precision medicine. Our services cover over 100 countries and regions, involving more than 2,300 medical institutions. In July 2017, as a subsidiary of BGI Group, BGI Genomics (300676.SZ) was officially listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.