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BLOG: International Women’s Day: Celebrating APAC’s Trailblazing Women Leaders

As the world comes together to celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s crucial to shine a spotlight on the remarkable achievements of women breaking barriers and making significant strides in various industries. Forbes Asia recently unveiled its 2023 Power Businesswomen list, honoring 20 outstanding female leaders in the Asia-Pacific region. These trailblazers have not only shattered glass ceilings but have also left an indelible mark on the business landscape. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these incredible women and their inspiring journeys.


1. Makiko Ono – Breaking Traditions in Japan

Makiko Ono, the first female CEO of Suntory Beverage & Food, has redefined corporate leadership in Japan. Breaking through gender norms, Ono has become the first woman to head a Japanese company with a market cap exceeding ¥1 trillion yen. Her achievements serve as an inspiration for aspiring female leaders challenging stereotypes in the corporate world.


2. Carolyn Choo – Redefining Hospitality in Singapore

Carolyn Choo, CEO and managing director of Worldwide Hotels, stands out as a maverick in the hospitality industry. Emphasizing affordability and quality, Choo has expanded her family’s hotel empire across Singapore and overseas. Her recent acquisition of Parkroyal on Kitchener Road marked a historic milestone in the Singapore hotel industry.

3. Trudy Dai – Navigating China’s Economic Landscape

Trudy Dai, appointed CEO of Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall, showcases resilience and adaptability in the face of economic challenges. Focusing on promoting value-for-money products amid China’s economic downturn, Dai has played a pivotal role in steering Alibaba through uncharted territories.


4. Lee Young-hee – Pioneering Leadership Beyond Boundaries in Korea

Lee Young-hee, president of global marketing at Samsung Electronics, has become the first woman outside the founding family to hold the rank of president at the Samsung Group. Her journey from joining the company in 2007 to contributing to its status as the largest seller of smartphones reflects the impact of women in technology leadership.


5. Meliza Musa Rusli – Leading in Indonesia’s Finance Sector

Meliza Musa Rusli made history by becoming the first woman to head Bank Permata, one of Indonesia’s top lenders. Her focus on growing the domestic and international customer base reflects the evolving landscape of women leaders in the finance sector.

 

Lighting The Way

The stories of these remarkable women from Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen list exemplify the strength, resilience, and determination that women bring to leadership roles. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let’s not only recognise their achievements but also pledge to support and empower more women to break barriers and contribute to a more inclusive and diverse world. The journey toward gender equality continues, and these trailblazers are lighting the way for future generations of female leaders.

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