Woman-led firms account for 20 percent of Vietnam market cap hinh anh 1Vinamilk CEO Mai Kieu Lien (R) receives the 20th Nikkei Asia Prize in Tokyo on May 20 (Photo: VNA)

The number of Vietnamese women in senior positions in public companies is still very small, but the picture does appear brighter if one looks at Vietnam's largest companies.

Of the 680 companies listed on the two national stock exchanges, only 5 percent are under management of female CEOs. Yet, the market cap of these women-led companies accounted for 260 trillion VND (11.6 billion USD), 20 percent of Vietnam's total market capitalisation.

Some of the biggest firms in Vietnam, like dairy giant Vinamilk (VNM), real estate developer VinGroup (VIC), Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corp (REE), FLC Group (FLC) and Kinh Bac City Development Share Holding Corp (KBC) are run by female CEOs.

Nguyen Van Quy, an analyst of FPT Securities Co, spoke to Vietnam News about the small group of powerful Vietnamese female CEOs. He said, unlike some of their male counterparts, they were more likely to run a tight-ship, especially careful and detail-oriented in planning their business strategies.

One of these outstanding female leaders, Mai Kieu Lien, has worked in the industry for almost four decades and has served as Vinamilk's CEO since 1992.

"Mai Kieu Lien is one of the most powerful businesswomen. She has built a reputation for her decisiveness and care for employees and investors," Quy said.

Lien has made it onto Forbes' Asia's Power Businesswomen list for several years and under her leadership, Vinamilk has recorded consistent growth in revenue and profit since listing in 2006.

Vinamilk is the biggest company on Vietnam's stock market with a market cap of over 6 billion USD on October 20. Its shares have rallied 39 percent this year.

"It's very hard for women to be successful in their careers in Vietnam since they are expected to take on two big positions; perhaps as a manager at company, but also as a wife and mother in the family," Quy said.-VNA