THE Wall Street Journal has released its first-ever global Top 50 Women to Watch rankings, which include nine women from Asia.
The nine Asian women are from Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore and India.
The rating is designed to recognise women who have achieved noteworthy successes in business in the past year, as well as those who are poised to play important roles in business in the years to come.
It also includes women from Europe and the Americas and is divided into six categories as follows:
·Running the Show featuring women who currently head organisations;
·In Line To Lead comprising women who have the potential to rise to the top of their organisations;
·The Owners listing women who run their own businesses;
·The Inheritors featuring women in line to inherit a company;
·The Watchdogs listing women in top regulatory roles; and
·The Grant Giver women involved in philanthropy.
Hewlett-Packards Carly Fiorina tops the 13-strong Running the Show category, followed by Margaret Whitman of eBay Inc and Andrea Jung of Avon Products.
At ninth placing is Shanghai Baosteel Group chairwoman Xie Qihua who is the highest-ranking Asian in this listing, while Temasek Holdings executive director and chief executive Ho Ching comes in at No. 12.
Xie Qihua started her career in Shanghai Baosteel as an engineer. She worked her way up the leadership chain to head Chinas largest iron and steel producer with 100,000 employees and US$22bil in assets.
Ho Ching runs Singapores state investment company, Temasek Holdings, which has stakes in dozens of companies that operate in nearly every key sector of the island republic's economy.
Female executives from Asia make an impressive showing in the In Line To Lead category with no less than six out of the 24 slots.
At third position is PepsiCo president and chief financial officer, Indra Nooyi, who was born and raised in a middle-class family in India. Today, she is second in command at PepsiCo and has played a key role in remaking the snack and beverage giant.
BMW Tokyo president Fumiko Hayashi, who is listed at No. 13, made her name in the male-dominated Japanese auto industry by selling more cars. She became the top salesperson in BMW Tokyos key showroom a month after joining the company, and turned the business around in its weakest showroom six months after her transfer there.
Arguably the most influential woman in Chinas financial system, Wu Xiaoling is deputy governor of the Peoples Bank of China in charge of monetary policy at Chinas central bank.
Listed at No. 18 in the In Line To Lead group, Wu has had a hand in most of the major financial reforms undertaken by the country during the past two decades.
Fellow Chinese compatriot, Haier Group chief executive officer Yang Mianmian, enters the In Line To Lead list at No. 19.
Yang has transformed Haier from a small refrigerator workshop into a home-appliance giant with global sales of more than US$9.6bil last year.
Listed at No. 21 is India's HSBC PLC deputy chief executive Naina Lal Kidwai who has participated in, and profited from, Indias evolution from a backwater of global markets closed to international capital to one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
Lastly, at No. 24 in the In Line To Lead listing, fast-rising star Yoon Song Yee is the highest-ranking female executive at SK Telecom, South Koreas largest telecom service provider.
She leads the companys communication-intelligence task force to create a new generation of mobile-phone services and to design the next generation of networking tools to facilitate wireless Internet access via mobile phones.
Kim Sung Joo, who heads up South Korean luxury goods retailing companies Sungjoo International and Sungjoo Design Tech & Distribution, ranks No. 2 in The Owners category.