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Asia Posts Just 2 Newcomers to Forbes Power Women List

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen is the only Asian woman in the top 10 while the highest-ranked female executive is Pertamina’s Nicke Widyawati

Nicke Widyawati
Nicke Widyawati, who heads an Indonesian state oil company, had earlier said that Tesla was keen on setting up a plant to manufacture energy storage systems. Photo: Reuters.


Asia fared poorly in the latest Forbes list of the world’s most powerful women, with just two newcomers.

They are Tokiko Shimizu, the Bank of Japan‘s first female executive director, coming in at number 55, and Laura Cha, the first female chair of Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing, slotting in at number 69.

Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s president, is the only Asian woman in the top 10. She gets the number 9 spot.

The highest-ranked female executive is Nicke Widyawati, president director of Indonesia’s Pertamina, who scores the number 27 spot.

Ho Ching, a Singaporean business executive and businesswoman who serves as a director of Temasek Trust and is married to the city-state’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, is at number 33.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand prime minister, is at number 34, while Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister, is at 37. Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Bangladesh’s leader, is at number 43.

Taiwanese-American businesswoman Lisa Su, AMD chief executive, is ranked at 59.

MacKenzie Scott Tops Global List

US writer and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott (pictured left) tops this year’s ranking, replacing former German chancellor Angela Merkel, who ranked first for 15 of the prior 17 versions of this list.

Scott, the former wife of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, has given away $8.6 billion of her fortune in charitable giving, including $2.7 billion this year alone.

Kamala Harris, the highest-ranking US female politician, takes the number 2 spot, followed by European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde in third position.

Other Asia-Pacific women in the top 100 are Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart at number 44, HCL Technologies chair Roshni Nadar Malhotra (52), Gree boss Dong Mingzhu (58), Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike (59), Indonesian finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati (66), Indian businesswoman Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (72) and Yum China chief executive Joey Wat (73).

Rounding out the list are Great Wall Motor head Wang Feng Ying (75), Chinese entrepreneur Zhou Qunfei (79), Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong Group partner Solina Chau (81), Nykaa founder Falguni Nayar (88), South Korean hotel magnate Lee Boo-jin (89) and Wellcome Trust chair and former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard (93).


  • George Russell





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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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