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From OCBC’s group CEO to Etonhouse’s founder, here are all the Singaporean women who made it onto Forbes’ prestigious list this year

Women have always been a force to behold and nothing showed their resilience more than the Covid-19 pandemic when the world saw many female business leaders step up to adapt and thrive to keep their businesses afloat in the midst of incredible challenges. 

Recently, Forbes released its 2021 Asia’s Power Businesswomen list which features 20 female business leaders from around the world who have seized opportunities in the midst of challenges and have marked new milestones and expanded their businesses despite the pandemic.

On the list are women who hold leadership positions in industries such as banking and private equity,  manufacturing, healthcare and technology. 

They are also all newcomers to the list and have been selected for their ability to manage either a business with sizable revenues or a startup valued at over US$100 million.

This year, there are three Singaporean women on this prestigious list. From being group chief executive officers (CEO) at prestigious banks to making big waves in furthering the education of young minds, keep reading to find out who made it on the list from our island. 

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Helen Wong, Group CEO, OCBC

Helen Wong joined OCBC Bank in 1984 where she was the bank’s first China Desk Manager. She spent some time in other banks in Hong Kong after her stint in OCBC and was in roles that allowed her to deal with investment banking and corporate banking as well as debt capital and more. 

In 2020, Wong returned to OCBC as Deputy President and Head of Global Wholesale Banking. She was later promoted this year to Deputy President and Head of Global Wholesale Banking.

Her appointment is crucial because it marks the company’s shift in focus to succession planning and talent management which are critical aspects of good corporate governance.

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Judy Hsu, CEO for Consumer, Private and Business Banking, Standard Chartered Bank

Judy Hsu has been in banking for over 30 years and has held numerous leadership roles around Asia in her time. In 2009, Hsu joined Standard Chartered as the Global Head of Wealth Management. She was pivotal in leading the strategic development and management of wealth management products, investment strategy and advisory services for the bank.

Hsu’s hard work did not go unnoticed and in 2015, she was appointed CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Singapore. In 2018, she was again promoted to Regional CEO of Asean and South Asia (ASA). 

In January 2021, Hsu was appointed as the CEO of Consumer, Private and Business Banking (CPBB) where she is continuing to lead and make waves in the banking industry. 

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Ng Gim Choo, Founder, Etonhouse

Ng Gim Choo is the founder, chairwoman and group managing director of Etonhouse, a locally based international education group. 

Over the years, she has led the group and spearheaded its expansion across Asia. In fact, under her leadership, Etonhouse has grown to 20,000 students across 130 campuses in 11 Asian countries. 

Ng is also highly recognised and decorated. In 2009, she became the first Singaporean woman to receive the Freedom of the City of London. This is one of the oldest awards in the United Kingdom and she was given the honour for her contributions to international education. 

In 2011, Ng received the Honorary Citizen of Suzhou award for her contributions to the local community. Later, in 2019, Ng won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Education category for her contributions to Singapore’s economy and society. 

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