Vingroup JSC’s Le Thi Thu Thuy says she brought a mother’s perspective to Vietnam’s largest mall, adding an indoor water park and ice rink to make it a weekend destination for Hanoi’s 6.8 million residents.
“There was nowhere for the whole family to go,” said Thuy, 39, who has two children and oversaw the opening of Vincom Mega Mall Royal City as chief executive officer of Vingroup before stepping down last month to run the firm’s new online unit. Crowds of kids and young couples gathered at the rink on a recent weekend, suggesting her plan is paying off.
Women leaders like Thuy are getting rewarded by investors in Vietnam’s $58 billion stock market, the best performer in Asia this year. An index of companies currently led by female CEOs has almost tripled in the past five years, gaining about twice as much as the nation’s benchmark VN-Index, according to data compiled by Paris-based Intelligent Financial Research & Consulting and Bloomberg.
Female executives’ success in Vietnam may stem in part from skills honed during decades of war that ended with the fall of Saigon in 1975, according to Thuy. With many of the men away from home fighting, women took over running businesses and managing family finances in addition to raising children. While women control less than 7 percent of the nation’s corporate board seats, that’s still the second-highest proportion among Southeast Asian countries tracked by IFRC after the Philippines.
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Thanh Nien News. April 4, 2014.