In 2023, the Business Executive Network launched a new executive peer group, called the Women’s Executive Group (WE), to support and empower our women members. With women currently representing 30% of the Business Executive Network’s membership, the formation of the WE Group is also a step for us to draw in more women to our community and more deeply diversify our membership. By establishing a dedicated platform for women, we are committed to ensuring that their voices are heard, needs are met, and achievements are celebrated.

Facilitating the Women’s Executive Group are Jessica Lu, an esteemed Executive Coach, and Loan Tran, a Cross-Cultural Leader, who bring their experience to extract maximum value from each session. The group is currently meeting quarterly, and the inaugural meeting in March was engaging, discussing intention, identity, and promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA). We received some feedback that working as leaders alongside older or equally aged men in an “entrenched” culture was a significant challenge for female CEOs, and that there can be an undue lack of confidence or respect towards women leaders, particularly on first impressions.

The Women’s Executive Group’s First Meeting

To address these challenges, the Women’s Executive Group fosters a supportive network for women executives to leverage themselves and grow professionally. Meetings feature speakers and closed-door discussions, emphasizing confidentiality with all members signing NDAs. The group aims to provide valuable takeaways, tailor content to member requirements and encourages commitment and authenticity.

The MARC Award

The Business Executive Network 2023 MARC (Men Advocating Real Change) Award is the idea of Michele Wee, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam. The WE Group initiative recognizes male leaders who advocate for DEIA. Men play a critical role in fostering equity and the MARC Award aims to promote gender equality by honoring exceptional male leaders who create inclusive environments. Three nominees will be shortlisted, with the winner chosen by a panel of five judges from our network.

As women constitute only a fraction of global executives, the WE Group and MARC Award mark the beginning of initiatives to support women executives in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. We envision a future where gender equality is promoted, and these initiatives contribute positively to achieving that goal.


To nominate a male leader for the 2023 MARC Award, please email us at: with:

✔ The nominee’s full name, position, company, contact details

✔ A summary as to why this individual deserves the award

✔ Contact details of 3 women (either from inside or outside the organization) to vouch for this person.

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Tim Burrill
Membership Manager & Executive Assistant
If you would like to learn more about our events and membership, or have other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.