Meet Wenchi Yu & R May Lee – Leadership Summit Speakers

With less than a fortnight until the IPWS Leadership Summit powered by IE Business School on Friday 2nd June, we’d love to introduce you to more of our guest speakers.

The theme of the Summit is: “Understanding Power & Leadership – A Roadmap to Success”.

Power is ultimately about making a (positive) difference in the world and can be exercised through various meaning. The Summit is bringing together the best thinkers & leaders in our community to continue these discussions. What does Power mean in the context of personal or professional leadership?

Introducing Wenchi Yu & R May Lee, who will join our growing list of Guest Speakers. Click here for the full line up and read on for more about our latest additions:

Wenchi Yu
Asia Pacific Head of Corporate Engagement, Goldman Sachs

Wenchi Yu is Goldman Sachs’ Asia Pacific Head for Corporate Engagement, leading the firm’s strategic philanthropy and social investment in the region. Immediately before Goldman Sachs, she started a business connecting investors and social entrepreneurs between Asia and the United States. Previously, she worked in the U.S. Department of State and the US Congress. She serves as an advisor to a number of non-profit organizations and previously worked with the U.S. Congress and the Department of State on women’s empowerment initiatives. She is particularly insightful about the evolving landscape for philanthropy in Asia, corporate giving, and opportunities for female entrepreneurs in China.

Wenchi has written extensively on political economy and society in Asia for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Council on Foreign Relations, Caixin, and other international media outlets.

From the online resource ‘Asia Society’, here is a small Q&A with Wenchi:


What sorts of initiatives have you personally focused on?

At Goldman Sachs, primarily women’s economic empowerment. We work on developing capacity for female small and medium-sized business owners. They are predominantly women in developing economies where they have the potential to contribute significantly to their economy, but lack of opportunity and their own lack of self-confidence stand in the way. There are also significant external barriers, such as commercial banks not seeing women entrepreneurs as credible borrowers, and a lack of an enabling policy environment, which prevents women entrepreneurs from accessing capital and growing a business.

How is China doing at creating space for women entrepreneurs?

Goldman Sachs sponsored a report recently released by a prominent Chinese think tank, China Development Research Foundation, that studied women’s entrepreneurship in China as a new economic growth opportunity. This report used Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women initiative in China as a case study, examining the trend in supporting women’s entrepreneurship and the need for policy support. In recent years, there have been new opportunities and challenges facing Chinese female entrepreneurs. With new technology and the rise of e-commerce, women can be entrepreneurs online regardless of their background or gender; it almost equalizes their opportunity to be successful because their gender is no longer an issue. But on the other hand, rapid economic growth is creating new social challenges for women. For example, as China’s economy enters the “new normal” phase — slower growth and structural economic reforms — a large number of unskilled women from rural areas who no longer have factory jobs need to look for new opportunities in other service sectors. It presents a new opportunity for some but also poses new social problems. So how does the government create an environment to support people who have the potential to be successful entrepreneurs? This is a policy question. China’s leadership has recently been promoting the idea that “everyone can be entrepreneurs and everyone should be innovative.” It is clearly a government priority to support entrepreneurs.

You can read Wenchi’s LinkedIn profile here.

We’re also delighted to announce R May Lee will join our Leadership Summit Line Up of Speakers!


R May Lee
Dean, School of Entrepreneurship and Management, ShanghaiTech University

May is widely regarded as an expert on innovation gained through her experience as a business leader, an entrepreneur and educator in the U.S. and China. Over the last 25 years, May has held senior positions at organizations, such as Goldman, Sachs, Merrill Lynch, NYU, and ShanghaiTech, enabling her to thrive in environments that require strategic, operational and entrepreneurial skills. She speaks regularly about education, leadership, and innovation, and consults with corporations on these topics. Recently, the World Economic Forum invited May to serve on the Global Future Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

May is currently Dean of the School of Entrepreneurship and Management at ShanghaiTech University, a new university created by the Shanghai Government. As the inaugural Dean of the School of Entrepreneurship and Management at ShanghaiTech University, May is creating a 21st century business school that connects creativity and innovation to business and science.

May is also a Lifetime Trustee at the NYU School of Law, and sits on the Board of Directors for the National Partnership for Women and Families and the Chelsea Day School in New York.

You can read some of May’s thoughts on innovation in China here, and see more about her career path via her LinkedIn page.


We are so pleased to include Wenchi Yu and R May Lee to our line-up of amazing speakers at this year’s IPWS Leadership Summit. Don’t miss your chance to learn and be inspired, so make sure to get your ticket – now available at a special group price HERE.