Running for three years now “The 2014 FORBES ASIA Power Businesswomen list”, presents a selection of 50 women from a range of industries that includes venture capital, lingerie, toolmaking and constructions. New additions that make it onto the list are Alison Watkins, who rises to the top of Coca-Cola Amatil,l who became only the second woman to head up a top 30 listed Australian company; Ong Chih Ching, an entrepreneur and property magnet based in Singapore with a taste for yachts and fast cars. Also onto the list is veteran Hong Kong movie producer, Nansun Shi, whose career spans almost four decades.
The Researchers at Forbes say they use the following criteria to qualify who makes it onto the list: company revenue (rarely less than $100 million, frequently in the billions), the woman’s position at the company (if she’s the boss that’s a big plus) and how involved she is (preferably running operations day-to-day).
Chew Gek Khim of Singapore fits all this criteria and then and beyond as she transforms Straits Trading, a staid colonial-era tin smelter, into a sleek 21st-century holding company. The Forbes team also selected entrepreneurs, like Noriko Nakamura of Poppins from Japan and Australian retail queen Naomi Milgrom, who have nurtured their own businesses.
It’s a tough process finding and judging women across a large geographic space and this year’s selection includes 13 countries. The range of industries is also very diverse as are the cultures and economies that must be taken into account. A company in Vietnam with $100 million in annual sales for example might be a standout on the local stock exchange but would register barely a blip in a more developed market. Countries such as Indonesia tend to throw up family-run conglomerates rather than listed companies, where information is easier to come by. And then there is culture: In Greater China women seem to advance more smoothly than in many other countries in the region, where tradition can remain a barrier.
A survey by Grant Thornton International Business Report notes a sharp rise in senior management positions held by women in mainland China to 51% (as of February 2013) from 25% a year earlier. Compare that with 7% in Japan, rock bottom of the heap of 44 economies studied; 22% in Australia; and 34% in Asean overall. The global average is 24%.
From a daring bright spark creating an online social media venture in Myanmar to a longtime executive just named the first woman to run an Indian oil major, these women are a small selection of those driving change.
Research: Shu-Ching Jean Chen, Susan Cunningham, FORBES INDONESIA, Don Frazier, Ron Gluckman, Jane Ho, Joyce Huang, Seline Jung, Naazneen Karmali, Sunshine Lichauco de Leon, Noelle Lim, Lan Anh Nguyen, Anuradha Raghunathan, Lucinda Schmidt, Jennifer Schultz Wells, James Simms, Blessing Waung.
Source Forbes Asia