Some of these women were unknown names working quietly to blaze the trail forward for others – but being Great Women Of Our Time Awards alumni have helped propel them to greater things! They share here what the awards mean to them.
Karen was a double winner who also won the “Most Inspiring Woman” award in 2006. “The awards opened more avenues for me to give back to the community,” shares the mum-of-two. Today, Karen manages a 12-member team that advises clients from all over Asia on investments. Karen says, “I want to help develop new leaders in the finance industry.”
Quoting Vincent van Gogh’s “I dream my painting and I paint my dream”, Lusi – who also won the “Most Inspiring Woman” award in the same year, wants to encourage everyone to “dare to dream, and dare to live that dream”. And she walks the talk by mentoring and grooming others through her coaching programmes. Looking forward, Lusi reveals, “I want to set up a Lusi Group Foundation, to provide funds for the education of needy children in developing countries. I believe education will give children a good head-start in life and equip them with the necessary mind-set and skills to succeed, and enable them to contribute to their countries.”
When Dora was announced as the “Most Inspiring Woman” in 2014, her mind was a mix of emotions, ranging from surprise to pride, After all, she’d bagged the Finance & Commerce award too. “The night was even more memorable for me because my mother and my daughter were there to witness the moment,” says Dora. It was icing on the cake for one of Singapore’s most respected entrepreneurs, who was conferred a National Day Public Service Medal in the same year. Dora shares, “This is a long but an exciting journey,” she says. “I hope Best World will be a name Singapore can be proud to call our own.”
Back in 2010, BrandStory Inc, which handles public relations for clients across Asia, had three offices in Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing. In 2012, the company was appointed by Brand USA, an organisation set up by President Barack Obama to promote travel to 50 states in the US, for the Taiwan and Hong Kong markets. So she added two outposts in Taipei and Hong Kong. Reene says she identifies with many of her fellow nominees, who, like her, have to juggle career and family. “I feel encouraged to know that I can be a successful entrepreneur and a good mother at the same time,” she shares.
Trina, who is the Managing Director at Templebridge Investments, remembers 2005 as “the first and last time I dressed up for an event in baby pink!” she recalls with a laugh. “I’m heartened to know that many Singaporean women are still finding time to help make a difference in our world.” A decade after her win, Trina herself has not let up: She currently sits on the boards of the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, and the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. In 2011, Trina also co-founded Project Inspire, which supports the economical empowerment of women in Asia-Pacific.
This 2003 Southeast Asian Games bronze medallist who lost her arms and legs through a bacteria infection, says, “I got ‘shot’ with this condition, but I’ll not settle with what I have been ‘given’. I want to maximise the potential of what life has thrown me.” Getting herself fitted with bionic arms and legs has allowed this ex-SEA Games markswoman to resume training. In September and November this year, Aishah travelled to Sydney and the US to participate in the 2015 International Paralympic Council Shooting World Cup in Sydney. The never-say-die fighter has also set her sights on the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016.
Since winning a Great Women Of Our Time Award, Renee has worked even harder to help build a sustainable future. Her company, Eco-Wiz, now five years old, has risen to become one of the world’s leading food waste management solutions provider. “The awareness of the need for sustainable food waste recycling has increased locally,” shares the mum-of-one. “I’ve been working closely with various government and private sector entities over the past few years, and our efforts are starting to bear fruit.” Thanks to companies like Renee’s, the government recently launched an initiative to recycle food waste in hawker centres.