Cover Asia's Most Influential 2022: Women leaders (from left) the Philippines’ Marianna Zobel de Ayala, Hong Kong’s Vivien Khoo, Singapore’s Lily Kong, Malaysia’s Cheah Phaik Yeong and Taiwan’s Winnie Lee

These women founders and executives leading global organisations are getting things done

The women leaders on Asia’s Most Influential 2022 are getting things done, impacting the vital fields of education and science, as well as advancing the burgeoning sectors of technology and the metaverse. As they steer global companies and institutions, they are breaking the proverbial glass ceiling—inspiring more women to take charge and lifting them up by creating equitable opportunities. Taiwan’s Winnie Lee, Malaysia’s Cheah Phaik Yeong, the Philippines’ Marianna Zobel de Ayala, Hong Kong’s Vivien Khoo and Singapore’s Lily Kong are but a few of the women founders, directors and executives from this year’s list who are paving the way for a better and more equitable world.

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Winnie Lee, Taiwan

For her work in Appier, Winnie Lee has been named Woman of the Year in the Women in IT Asia Awards 2022. The artificial intelligence and software-as-a-service company, which she co-founded, helps companies make precise decisions through data management and customer insight. With the COO’s leadership, Appier is recognised as a global leader in AI, serving over 1,000 customers with almost 30 billion predictions every day. To create the next-generation customer data platform, the firm acquired Woopra in October 2022, adding the analytics firm to its solutions. 

Read Winnie Lee’s full profile on Asia’s Most Influential


Prof Cheah Phaik Yeong, Malaysia

“I am happy that my work can help to make the world a better place, even if it only affects a small number of people,” Cheah Phaik Yeong told Tatler. The professor of global health at the University of Oxford has certainly impacted the world through her scientific work: As a bioethicist and researcher, she recently released a paper on the private versus public ownership of individual-level health data, suggesting a focus on data governance to balance the two. And as the head of Bioethics and Engagement at the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, she has led scientific initiatives in Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.

Read Cheah Phaik Yeong’s full profile on Asia’s Most Influential


Marianna Zobel de Ayala, Philippines

To improve women’s access to higher education, Marianna Zobel de Ayala joins the non-profit organisation U-Go as a director. The non-profit, with the help of NGOs in Asian countries, grants financial scholarships to help students from in-need communities create better futures. Together with the Ayala Foundation, it recently launched a scholarship for young Filipino women attending public or state universities (applications are ongoing until 15 November 2022). Apart from philanthropic roles, Zobel is a business leader who holds a number of positions at the Ayala Group of Companies, including director of Ayala Land and senior vice president of the Bank of the Philippine Islands. 

Read Marianna Zobel de Ayala’s full profile on Asia’s Most Influential


Vivien Khoo, Hong Kong

“Institutions are moving into crypto, and there are plenty of women in traditional finance who want to know about it,” cryptocurrency advocate Vivien Khoo told Tatler in this 2022 interview. With a mission to give women equitable access to knowledge and opportunity in cryptocurrency, Khoo founded SatoshiWomen. The organisation bridges the gap through educational webinars on, for example, digital asset adoption and networking events that foster collaboration. The crypto leader, who also set up the Asia Crypto Alliance and Web 3 Women, was among the speakers of the recent Hong Kong Fintech Week 2022, joining a panel to discuss how to embrace innovation, as well as moderating a fireside chat about the metaverse. 

Read Vivien Khoo’s full profile on Asia’s Most Influential

Lily Kong, Singapore

Lily Kong is the president of the Singapore Management University (SMU), the world-class education hub that sees over 12,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in seven schools. Among her many duties, Kong leads Vision 2025, the university’s strategic plan that prioritises digital transformation, sustainable living and growth in Asia. In October 2022, SMU added a seven-storey sustainable building that houses the School of Social Sciences, the College of Integrative Studies and several research centres to its campus. “This new building encompasses hardware and software that are aligned to SMU’s Vision 2025. It is a wonderful new addition to our campus, as our university continues to respond nimbly to a world of new challenges and opportunities,” Kong was quoted as saying in a press release from the university. 

Read Lily Kong’s full profile on Asia’s Most Influential

Tatler Asia's Most Influential is the definitive list of people shaping our world today. Asia's Most Influential brings together the region's most innovative changemakers, industry titans and thought leaders who are driving positive impact in Asia and beyond. View the full list here.


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