15 Of Hong Kong's Most Powerful Women
- Carrie LamCarrie Lam
- Pansy HoPansy Ho
- Sonia ChengSonia Cheng
- Bonnie Chan-WooBonnie Chan-Woo
- Marjorie YangMarjorie Yang
- Winnie ChiuWinnie Chiu
- Pollyanna ChuPollyanna Chu
- Laura ChaLaura Cha
- Solina ChauSolina Chau
- Michelle Ong-CheungMichelle Ong-Cheung
- Angela LeongAngela Leong
- Bonnae GoksonBonnae Gokson
- Yenn WongYenn Wong
- Cathy LeeCathy Lee
- Sabrina Fung-LamSabrina Fung-Lam
When we decided to publish a story about the trailblazing women shaping the economic and political landscape of Hong Kong, we came across one major problem—there were just too many to fit in one list. So we decided to focus on the women who celebrated a significant achievement in 2017 or 2018, with 15 profiled below
WHY HER? She became Hong Kong’s first female chief executive last year, the highest office in the region. Carrie first stepped into the public eye in 2007 when she became Secretary for Development.
OUT OF THE OFFICE When she’s not busy running the government, Carrie is a long-term supporter of the creative industries in Hong Kong and enjoys learning about what fashion designers, product designers and architects are up to in the city.
WHY HER? Pansy is group executive chairman and managing director of Shun Tak Holdings, which is involved in transportation, property, hospitality and investments, and is co-chairperson and executive director of MGM China Holdings. In early 2018, Pansy opened MGM Cotai, a 35-storey, 1,390-room hotel-casino just off Macau’s Cotai Strip.
OUT OF OFFICE As if she didn’t already have enough on her plate, Pansy is a dedicated philanthropist and is the driving force behind the annual amfAR Gala Hong Kong.
WHY HER? Sonia is CEO of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and has led a US$1 billion expansion of the brand, opening new properties last year in locations such as Sanya and Phuket and renovating heritage premises such as Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. Rosewood Hong Kong is due to open later this year.
FAMILY TIES Sonia is the granddaughter of the late New World Group and Chow Tai Fook tycoon Cheng Yu-tung. Her brother, Adrian, now runs these businesses.
WHY HER? Marketing maven Bonnie advises and collaborates with some of the biggest companies in the world. She’s chairperson, CEO and executive director of Icicle Group, a marketing and branding company that has worked with everyone from global financial institutions such as Citibank to luxury brands—La Prairie, Lane Crawford and Salvatore Ferragamo among them. Icicle went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in December last year.
SIDE HUSTLE Bonnie recently partnered with American rapper and record producer Lupe Fiasco to launch Studio SV, a Hong Kong-based entertainment studio dedicated to producing TV programmes, digital content and films for a global audience.
WHY HER? Marjorie is chairman of Esquel Group, the world’s largest shirt-maker. The company manufactures clothes for brands ranging from high-end Ralph Lauren to activewear label Nike, generating annual revenue of more than US$1 billion. In 2017 she became the first woman to be appointed to represent Hong Kong at the APEC Business Advisory Council.
FAMILY TIES Marjorie’s daughter, Dee Poon, has joined the family business and is now managing director of brands and distribution.
Watch the video of Hong Kong's Power Women (Pt.1) here:
WHY HER? Winnie is the president and executive director of hotel group Dorsett Hospitality International, which currently owns and manages 33 hotels in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.
In 2017, Winnie announced that Dorsett will be expanding its business in the UK and is developing two new hotels in London, one of which is a 200-plus-bedroom property in London’s Canary Wharf. Winnie recently got engaged to Ho Pin-Tung, a Chinese-Dutch racing driver.
WHY HER? Financial whizz Pollyanna is co-founder and CEO of one of Hong Kong’s largest local brokerages, Kingston Financial, and chairperson of Sincere Watch, Hong Kong's largest chain of luxury watch sellers. She is currently in talks to buy a 17 percent stake in The Center, a 73-storey office tower in Central.
FAMILY TIES Pollyanna runs Kingston Financial with her husband, Nicholas. The company is named after their son.
WHY HER? A member of the Executive Council and chairwoman of the Financial Services Development Council, Laura has recently been appointed to the board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Rumours are swirling that this appointment paves the way for Cha to become the first woman to chair the stock exchange operator Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing in its 127-year history.
WHY HER? Solina is co-founder of venture capital firm Horizons Ventures, which is focused on supporting disruptive and technology-centred start-ups. One of the many companies Solina has backed is Silicon Valley start-up JUST, which has recently released JUST Scramble, a vegan replacement for scrambled eggs that looks and tastes just like the real thing.
WHY HER? Founder, director and creative head of Carnet Jewellery, Michelle is also the founder and chairman of the First Initiative Foundation (FIF), which aims to benefit Hong Kong locally and abroad through support of the arts, culture and heritage.
This year’s FIF fundraising ball is set to be the biggest ever. It will be Jurassic World-themed and begin with a dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. We won’t say anything else—we don’t want to ruin the surprises.
WHY HER? The managing director and largest individual shareholder of SJM Holdings, which owns several casino licenses in Macau, Angela is also an elected member of the Macau Legislative Council. Under Angela’s leadership, SJM Holdings is currently constructing Grand Lisboa Palace, which will house the Lisboa Palace Hotel, Palazzo Versace Macau and Karl Lagerfeld Hotel.
WHY HER? Dubbed the “Queen of Cakes” by the New York Times, Bonnae is the founder of restaurant Sevva, Ms B’s Cakery and C’est La B cafes. Bonnae’s cakes are cult favourites and can regularly be spotted on the Instagram feeds of the city’s most influential.
She’s also the author of the award-winning coffee-table book Butterflies and All Things Sweet. Fans of that tome are in luck, as Bonnae’s next book—about weddings—is scheduled for release this year.
WHY HER? Cathy is such a force on the charity scene that this year she was honoured by amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, for her commitment to fundraising and raising awareness of people affected by HIV/AIDS. Among many other commitments, Cathy is goodwill ambassador of Chi Heng Foundation, patron of Save The Children Hong Kong and chairperson of the Friends of the Hong Kong Arts Centre.
WHY HER? Sabrina is the group managing director of Fung Retailing, deputy chairman of Trinity and a director of Macy’s China. With Sabrina’s guidance, the company now oversees a portfolio of brands including Sonia Rykiel, Gieves & Hawkes and Delvaux. In 2017, Forbes said “Sabrina is moving towards centre stage [at parent company Li & Fung] as the managing director of Fung Retailing Group.”