Meet the Top 10 women in technology in Asia-Pacific
Sister publication Technology Magazine has revealed its Top 100 Women in Technology List. This follows on from the magazine’s inaugural list last year and continues to celebrate the work women leaders are doing in an industry that has long been male-dominated but is changing as the industry pushes for more diversity.
Deloitte Global predicts that large global technology firms, on average, will reach nearly 33% overall female representation in their workforces in 2022, up slightly more than two percentage points from 2019.
Nominated by readers of Technology Magazine and compiled by the publication's in-house team, the Top 100 features the leading female executives and influencers in technology.
Here, we highlight the top 10 in Asia-Pacific, from regional CIOs at Cisco and Geodis, to the chief technology officer of TCS APAC, President of AirAsia Digital and Chief Transformation Officer at Tech Mahindra.
1 Michele Lemmens
Head of Business Sustainability & CTO APAC
Michele Lemmens is a Singapore-based senior business executive who has been CTO APAC and Head of Business Sustainability at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for three years. She is passionate about both the need, and the opportunity for businesses to embrace sustainability in the way they operate and lead change, and recently led the establishment of the GRI Regional ASEAN Hub. Michele has deep experience in enterprise business model transformation often driven by strategies involving new market entry, M&A, JVs, startups and strategic alliances. This experience, along with business development and stakeholder management, reaches across APAC, the Middle East and UK geographies.
She joined TCS in 2007 as a senior consultant and has held increasingly senior roles, including in Saudi Arabia, where she established, managed and grew the first all-female business process services centres, and in Hong Kong, where she led the delivery of the insurance business in APAC. Prior to TCS, she held a number of business consultant roles, including for Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Medibank Private. In 2020, she was recognised as one of Asia’s Most Inspiring Executives and has a degree in Business Sustainability Management from the University of Cambridge.
2 Aireen Omar
As President of AirAsia Digital and CEO of AirAsia Super App, Aireen Omar is responsible for AirAsia’s digital strategy and overseas large, group-wide initiatives to help transform AirAsia Group into a global, cloud and data-driven platform company, and has been pivotal in incubating and growing the digital and fintech businesses such as BigLife, BigPay, Teleport, Santan and in transforming airasia.com into more than just an airline platform.
Prior to this, Aireen was AirAsia Malaysia Executive Director and CEO. She joined AirAsia in 2006 as Director of Corporate Finance and has been instrumental in shaping the development of AirAsia into one of the fastest-growing and most high-acclaimed airlines globally. She began her career as an associate at Deutsche Bank Securities and is an economics graduate of LSE and holds a master’s in economics from New York University. She has numerous accolades, including APAC CEO of the Year 2017 (Aviation 100 Awards) and Top 15 Senior Technology Executives in ASEAN 2019 (CIO).
3 Roshni Nadar Malhotra
As Chair of HCL Technologies, one of the world’s leading technology companies, since 2020, Roshni Nadar Malhotra is the first female chairperson of a leading IT company listed in India. She is also CEO of holding company HCL Corporation. While she is the daughter of HCL’s founder, Shiv Nadar, Roshni earned has executive stripes having served in leadership roles with the company for 12 years, the last two of which were vice chairperson.
She has been listed in Forbes’ World’s 100 Most Powerful Women for three years and was recognised by Horasis as the Indian Business leader of the Year 2019. She is an inspirational speaker and leads on numerous philanthropic initiatives. Roshni is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the MIT School of Engineering, USA, and is also a member of the Kellogg School of Management Executive Board for Asia. She has an MBA from Kellogg.
4 Simmi Dhamija
Chief Transformation Officer
As Chief Transformation Officer at Tech Mahindra for the last two years, Simmi Dhamja is responsible for leading full-scale transformation for the Indian multinational IT services and consulting firm across everything from profit improvement and future skilling to digitalisation and automation. She has conceptualised and implemented multiple digital transformation programs using advanced technologies including analytics, RPA, AI and cloud.
During her 16 years at Tech Mahindra, she has held increasingly senior roles, including as head of strategic initiatives and global head of strategy and transformation, and prior to this, led the Six Sigma program for Dell. Winner of the Woman Leader of the Year Award 2018, Techm, Simmi is a thought leader and speaker.
5 Janice Lai
Taipei-based Janice Lai is President at NEC Taiwan, leading the Japanese multinational tech giant’s business in Taiwan since 2017. She is also chairman of the board at software and services company PTC. Janice has 27 years’ experience in IT leading companies with exposure to solutions, sales, marketing, and organisation transformation, holding sales and business development leadership roles at tech giants SAP, Dell, IBM and Oracle. Janice earned an MBA from National Taiwan University.
6 Vidya Rao
Chief Information Officer
Bengaluru-based technology leader Vidya Rao has led IT and digital at Genpact for nearly three years as CIO, responsible for building and leading a world-class technology and global business.
Vidya has more than 25 years of technology consulting leadership and delivery experience and joined Genpact from Accenture where she spent more than 16 years, where she held diverse roles and more recently led the technology delivery for some of the tech consulting firm’s very large global multinational clients in consumer goods and pharma. Vidya began her career in 1993, working with multiple IT companies like Infosys, Wipro and Cambridge Technology Partners. She has a degree in statistics.
7 Shivani Saini
Global Digital & Tech Head, Business Units
GSK Consumer Healthcare
Armed with a track record of driving digital transformation in sales, marketing, supply chain and organisation culture, Shivani Saini has led digital and tech globally for GSK Consumer Healthcare for nine months, having worked her way up from CIO APAC for Consumer Healthcare.
Shivani has 24 years’ experience in IT in consumer goods and healthcare, with six years at GSK and 19 years at Proctor & Gamble. At P&G, she worked across countries and business units, spending nine years in Japan as digital marketing IT leader, seven years in Belgium as supply chain systems service and delivery leader, and three years in Singapore as Japan CIO. Shivani is passionate about making tech a competitive advantage for business. She has a degree in commerce from the University of Delhi.
8 Evelyn Su Mei Ooi
An experienced IT leader with more than 20 years of multinational corporation experience, Singapore-based Evelyn Su Mei Ooi has been CIO Asia-Pacific for supply chain operator Geodis since 2019. Well-versed in digital transformation and change management projects, Evelyn has held senior tech roles at DKSH Corporate Shared Services Center, where she spent more than a decade defining, driving and implementing IT strategy and digitalisation initiatives. Prior to this, she was a technical consultant at IBM Malaysia. She has a degree in Computing and a master’s in managerial psychology.
9 Julie Canepa
CIO APAC, Greater China & Japan
Julie Capana has been Cisco’s chief digital officer in the Asia-Pacific region for the last nearly eight and a half years, first as CIO Australia and New Zealand, responsible for IT service delivery in support of Cisco business across these two countries, and now as CIO Asia Pacific, Greater China & Japan since August 2021, driving digital outcomes impacting growth, productivity and user experience through cross discipline partnerships and driving synergies between business leadership, operations and IT.
Julie has more than 25 years of diverse IT leadership experience, leading IT initiatives in a wide variety of global and regional roles, and has worked for Cisco for more than two decades, including as Chief of Staff for Asia-Pacific. She has featured in the top 50 CIOs in Australia for the last five years. She is passionate about elevating women in tech and is an executive sponsor of women at Cisco to attract and support women in the industry and is a board member for the Diversity Council of Australia.
10 Genevieve Bell
Director, School of Cybernetics
The Australian National University
Genevieve Bell is a cultural anthropologist, pioneering technologist and futurist best known for her work at the intersection of cultural practice and technology development. A distinguished professor at the Australian National University (ANU), she currently leads the School of Cybernetics and is director of the 3A Institute at the ANU, which she founded in 2017 with the mission of building a new applied science around the management of AI, data, technology, and their impact on humanity.
She is also a Senior Fellow at Intel Corporation, where she spent 25 years prior to ANU, helping guide Intel’s product development by developing the company’s social science and design research capabilities – from developing the first UX roadmaps for Intel, to conceptualising and leading Intel Labs. She has a PhD from Stanford University in cultural anthropology.
She is a member of the Prime Minister’s National Science and Technology Council, an Officer of the Order of Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.
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