Singapore’s Ho Ching and Jenny Lee on Forbes list of 100 powerful women


Ho Ching (left), chairman of Temasek Trust, is ranked No. 33 on the list. Jenny Lee, managing partner of GGV Capital, is ranked 97th. - ST/Bloomberg

SINGAPORE: The Forbes magazine has named two Singaporeans to its 2023 list of 100 most powerful women, which features familiar and rising leaders in fields such as business, philanthropy, science and politics globally.

Ho Ching, 70, chairman of Temasek Trust - the entity responsible for Temasek Holding’s philanthropic endowments - has been featured on the list every year since its inception in 2004. This year, she is ranked No. 33, two spots up from her previous ranking in 2022.

Ho was the chief executive of global investment company Temasek Holdings from 2004 to 2021, and helped grow its portfolio to more than US$313 billion (S$418.3 billion), Forbes said.

It added that she has “opened offices in San Francisco in 2018 and poured over a quarter of Temasek’s money into sectors like life sciences, tech and agribusiness”.

The other Singaporean on the list - that was announced on Dec 5 - is Jenny Lee, managing partner of GGV Capital, a global venture capital firm. She is ranked 97th, down from 78th in 2022.

Lee, 51, “is considered to be a trailblazer in her field, with focus areas including ed-tech, robotics, and AI”, Forbes said. She is the first woman to make it to Forbes’ Midas List’s top 10 in 2012.

The Midas List is an annual ranking of the most influential and best-performing venture capital investors.

Dr Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, kept the top spot of the most powerful woman this year. Forbes noted that “she is the first woman to serve in the role, which is responsible for legislation affecting more than 450 million Europeans”.

This year, one peculiar “woman” stood out on the list: Barbie - a fictional character that has been most commonly represented as a doll - made it to the last spot.

Forbes noted that “Barbie has had more than 250 occupations, including astronaut, US presidential candidate, entrepreneur, architect and lawyer”.

As a result of her being the focal point of blockbuster Barbie in 2023 - which grossed US$1.4 billion at the global box office - the character had become a “cultural touchstone”, it added.

Forbes said that the No. 100 spot is “allocated every year to a figure that’s not the traditional image of power but one who has, nonetheless, come to define a year”.

In 2022, the spot was awarded posthumously to Iran’s Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old student who became the face of women’s rights in Iran after her death in the same year that was blamed on morality police that detained her for flouting the country’s strict hijab rules.

Pop stars Taylor Swift and Beyonce rose through the ranks this year, placing No. 5 and No. 36 respectively. They were No.79 and No.80 in 2022.

From South-East Asia, Indonesia’s Sri Mulyani Indrawati (No. 47) - who is the Minister for Finance for Indonesia - made the list alongside her compatriot, chief executive of Indonesia’s energy company Pertamina, Ms Nicke Widyawati (No. 51). - The Straits Times/ANN

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