5 Powerhouse Tech Businesswomen in Asia-Pacific

Powerhouse tech businesswomen in Asia-Pacific

5 Powerhouse Tech Businesswomen in Asia-Pacific

The rising voices of women stirred the world and caused a ripple effect in the sphere of business, politics, tech, entertainment, and philanthropy. And even when most of these are dominated by men, women still thrive to rise to the top and crack glass ceilings to challenge existing positions of power.

Some of these women, particularly women from Asia and the Pacific, are taking the business sphere by storm. Here are 5 of powerhouse tech businesswomen in Asia-Pacific who are changing the business and financial world as they ascend to greater ranks.

Mingzhu Dong

Starting off our list is one of the major power players in the business world, Mingzhu Dong. She serves as the Chairwoman and President of Gree Electric Appliances, the world’s largest household air-conditioning unit maker and China’s largest household maker.

She may not be born from an affluent family, but she has the determination to rise to the top. Mingzhu graduated with a degree in Statistics and served at a local government chemistry laboratory in Nanjing for 15 years.

When her husband died when she was 36, her life was turned upside down. Being a single mother, she needed to move to a more economically developed Zhuhai prefecture in Guangdong Province. She left her three-year-old son to her grandmother to start anew.

She joined Gree Electric as a salesperson first and displayed an exceptional performance by recovering massive debts in just a little over a month. This paved way to her quick promotion to head of sales. In 2001, Mingzhu became the company president and in 2012, she became Gree Electric’s chairwoman as well.

Mingzhu is named by New York Times as “one of the toughest businesswomen in China,” and has been consistently listed by Forbes Asia and Fortune Magazines as one of the most powerful and influential women in Asia.

Shemara Wikramanayake

Another business powerhouse in our list is Macquarie Group Managing Director/ CEO Shemara Wikramanayake. She broke the corporate glass ceiling by becoming the only female CEO among the biggest companies by market value in Australia. Shemara also became the first Asian-Australian woman to head a company listed in Australian Securities and Exchange 200. She’s also one of Australia’s highest-paid women and financial executives.

Shemara is born in the UK of Sri Lankan descent. She studied in London before her family migrated to Australia where she studied commerce and law at the University of New South Wales. She joined the investment giant Macquarie Group in 1987 and worked her way up to be the head of Macquarie Asset Management in 2008. In November 2018, she was appointed as the CEO who replaced the retiring Nicolas Moore. Her appointment is well-received by multi-cultural groups and companies.

Ching Ho

Singapore is one of Southeast Asia’s leading financial markets and recent Temasek Holdings CEO Ching Ho is one of the country’s major financial player. Aside from her position as one of the most powerful women in the world according to Forbes Magazine, she also holds an influential role of being the wife of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long.

She first worked in the government as an engineer with the Ministry of Defence in Singapore and become as the Deputy Director of Defence Material Organization. She later joined Singapore Technologies in 1987 as Deputy Director in Engineering and became its President and CEO in 1997. Ching also became the first chairman of the company and led it as the largest defence engineering company.

In 2002, she joins Temasek Holdings as its Director. Then she got promoted as its Executive Director later that year. Two years later, she assumed the role of CEO of the company and transformed Temasek from a government-owned Singapore-focused firm to one of the world’s biggest investor (with a total portfolio of $228 billion USD as of March 2018 according to Reuters). The financial empire is one of the main investors in a $14 billion USD fundraising round by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial.

Elizabeth Gaines

As a child, Elizabeth Gaines is known as an active, inquisitive, energetic and talkative. Years after, her proactive lifestyle has made her as the first woman to run a major publicly listed mining company in Australia, Fortescue Metals Group.

Elizabeth is a woman of many firsts. She became the first female board member at the mining giant, bringing her experience from banking, construction, and travel sectors in 2013. Four years after, she shortly became CFO before being named CEO in the same year. She’s currently facing the challenges as China’s demands of their iron ores are decreasing; Chinese steelmakers are opting for higher-quality grades that can be processed immediately in compliance with the recent anti-pollution efforts worldwide.

She is planning to enter a new market to accommodate for the slowdown of China’s demands. Fortescue is broadening its market in Asia, Europe and South America.

Lucy Peng

Lucy Peng completes our list as one of Asia-Pacific’s women business powerhouse. The recent Lazada CEO and Alibaba Group co-founder loves to wear many hats as she’s also the executive chair of Ant Financial in China and she still is Lazada’s chairwoman.

Just like Jack Ma, Lucy is previously a professor at Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics for five years prior to co-founding Alibaba. She was the Chief People Officer at Alibaba Group for more than 10 years, and she’s formerly the CEO of Ant Financial who transformed the wallet app into a financial service powerhouse that also expanded outside of China.

Lucy is listed as Forbes’ “Most Powerful Woman in the World” and “Power Women” in 2016 with an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion USD as of 2018.

The Asia-Pacific region is at the forefront of growth in the global economy with projected growth in 5.6 per cent in 2018 and 5.4% in 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund’s report in October 2018. Women leading the business sector is a change that may radically steer the current economic landscape in the Asia-Pacific.

Which other leading businesswomen in Asia-Pacific should be included in our list? Let us know in the comments.

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