Recaps and year-end summaries often mark the end of the year, and here is one that is worth the read. Forbes has just released its 18th edition of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, and one of our own has made the list.
This year includes 40 CEOs, 19 world leaders, an immunologist, and a new number one for the first time in more than a decade.
Before we get into the home team, represent, perhaps one of the more seismic shifts is the crowning of a new number one in the list.
For those who have been avid followers of the list, you’ll know that German chancellor Angel Merkel has held the position for close to 18 years. There were only three times in the 18-year run where she was not crowned number one.
This year, the position goes to billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. While she may be the third richest woman in the world, it’s her determination to donate in a meaningful and revolutionary way — a move that gives her an edge above the other women on the list.
In 2020, she announced just over US$5.8 billion in gifts to about 500 nonprofits. Then in June 2021, Scott said she gave another US$2.74 billion to 286 groups. It is also her ‘no strings attached’ style of giving money that sets her apart from other philanthropists.
Ho Ching is the only Singaporean on the list
Coming in at No. 33 on the list is Ho Ching, the only Singaporean on Forbes’ list. While most of us might know her as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s wife, Ho Ching was the CEO of Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek.
She has helped Temasek’s portfolio grow to more than S$381 billion. After 17 years at helm, she stepped down from her role on October 1.
She was subsequently announced to be the next chairman of the Temasek Trust, the entity responsible for Temasek’s philanthropic endowments — a role which she will assume in April 2022.
Last year, Ho Ching was also named the 20th most powerful woman outside of the United States by Fortune. It was not her first time on the list — she has consistently appeared on the list for the past five years — ranking eighth in 2016 and 2018, 10th in 2017, and 19th in 2019.
Other notable mentions
While we love to give airtime to all the other women on this list, notable mentions would include vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris.
Another amazing woman on the list would be Rosalind Brewer. She is the former chief operating officer of Starbucks who took the helm of Walgreens in March and is currently the only Black woman running an S&P 500 company.
Perhaps, one name we should be familiar with is BioNTech cofounder and immunologist Özlem Türeci. She is part of the 20 newcomers this year.
She makes her debut on the list at No. 48 for her role in leading the company’s development of the mRNA Covid vaccine in partnership with global pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer.
Then, there is Tsai Ing-wen at No. 9, who is the first female President of Taiwan. Tsai’s leadership through Covid-19 is regarded as the global model. If you remember, Taiwan instituted a rigorous track and trace program to prevent mass contagion.
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