Five female Asian business leaders to watch in 2016

Business Review Australia & Asia takes a brief and – we hope – interesting look at the careers of five of the region’s shining female business stars.

In its 2015 working paper, ‘What Can Boost Female Labor Force Participation in Asia?’ The International Monetary Fund noted that, faced with an ageing and potentially shrinking population, it was in Japan’s interest to bolster the number of women in the workforce at every level. But many countries across Asia have still lower levels of participation – and more pressing needs – which is why we hope the following list inspired by the latest Forbes data is of some inspiration.

1. Nita Ambani – Chairman at Reliance Foundation, India

Reliance Industries is one of India’s top conglomerate holding companies and also accounts for around 20 percent of the country’s total exports. Recognising the chance to affect large scale change, Nita Ambani founded the Reliance Foundation in 2010 to promote sustainable business development and growth across the country.

Her work at the Foundation covers everything from improving education, health, and rural development – to urban renewal, arts, culture and heritage. She is also first Indian woman to become member of International Olympic Committee.

2. Arundhati Bhattacharya – Chairman, State Bank of India

The first woman to become Chairman of India’s largest financial institution (and an Indian Fortune 500 company to boot) Arundhati Bhattacharya has championed the cause female workers in her business while being closely involved with a number of exciting expansions. Her main policy so far has been to introduce sabbatical policies for women needing to care for children or the elderly; recent reports suggest she has also been considering free cervical cancer screening.

3. Cao Thi Ngoc Dung – Chairman and CEO, Phu Nhuan Jewellery

Following her completion of her Commercial BA in Economics at Ho Chi Minh City’s University of Economics, Cao Thi Ngoc Dung has held a number of board-level jobs in industries as diverse as credit, agriculture, energy, and real estate. Currently heading up a highly successful jewellery company – we are compelled to ask: is there anything that this woman can’t do?

4. Somruedee Chaimongkol – CEO, Banpu, Thailand

Somruedee Chaimongkol has been at Thailand’s Banpu Minerals for the past decade, rising from CFO to CEO in 2015. She was educated in Economics at Bangkok University and has also attended the world-famous Harvard Business School. Since she took over as CEO of Banpu last year she has been facing up to the challenge of delivering a massive business transformation, splitting off part of the company for a potential stock exchange listing.

5. Sabrina Sih Ming Chao – Chairman, Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, Hong Kong

After completing her Batchelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Management at Imperial College London, Sabrina Sih Ming Chao started her career at global consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and then entered the shipping industry. She joined Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings in 2002 and worked her way up to the position of Executive Director in 2007. She also sits on the board the Hong Kong Ship Owners Association. 

Read the August issue of Business Review Australia & Asia.

Follow @BizRevAsia and @MrNLon on Twitter.

Business Review Asia is also on Facebook. 


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