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As part of the SPARK CONNECTION ecosystem for women leadership we offer cutting edge international programs tailored to the Vietnamese context. 


Irene Ohler, the IGNITE! program creator and founder of LightPath Leadership, has focused on initiatives that inspire and enable women leadership in Vietnam since her arrival in 2012.


She co-authored the award-winning book Ba Trieu's 21st Century Daughters. Stories of Remarkable Vietnamese Women, founded the live event series, the Women's Storytelling Salon, which runs in HCMC and Hanoi since 2014, consulted the Australian Consulate General in HCMC on the first Women's and the first Gender Conference in Vietnam, and is a sought after speaker on the topic of women empowerment and leadership.

Irene has more than 20 years of international experience in leadership development, having worked with Fortune 500 corporates and governments in Europe, China, Brazil, New Zealand and Vietnam

as an executive coach and consultant.


Irene Ohler:  "During a “women’s event” in Hanoi 3 years ago I was surprised by one of Vietnam’s first local female partners at a big consulting firm: “We really need to do something for our women”, she said with urgency and frustration in her voice. “For 15 years I keep on hearing the same things in these events, and nothing changes.  

What can we do?!!”


I had no immediate solution for her.

So, I started to search for women leadership programs to bring back to Vietnam. I participated in a few of these programs, and met fantastic women from around the globe.

In the end I decided to create my own women leadership programs, SPARK! and IGNITE!, based on international best practice, but tailored to our Vietnamese context."


Vietnam is full of remarkable women, many of whom are in executive and leadership positions, or aspire to these roles. But many of these talented women, particularly those in the 25-35 age bracket, are struggling with social pressures to be the “perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect daughter and perfect daughter in law”

while also trying to juggle their career.

As a result, many businesses are losing female talent who 'lean out' to play these other roles. 

Businesses are not only losing their younger productive talent but also

have a much smaller pipeline of women leaders lined up for senior roles.

And, the research is in: companies with more women in leadership positions perform better! 

According to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute

Vietnam could add $40 billion a year to its GDP by 2025 by advancing gender equality! 

Research also shows that gender shapes women’s paths to leadership and that 

 women-only groups, where participants can experience a sense of belonging, and feel they can bravely share their experiences

supports women in understanding and shaping who they are and who they can become.

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