1991

PROFESSOR CHAN HENG CHEE
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE & CHAIRMAN, NAC

1992

DR KANWALJIT SOIN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
ORTHOPAEDIC SURGEON & FIRST WOMAN NOMINATED MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

1993

HEDWIG ANUAR
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL LIBRARY

1994

LEAENA TAMBYAH
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FOUNDER, AWWA SPECIAL SCHOOL

1995

YU-FOO YEE SHOON
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER MINISTER OF STATE & TRADE UNIONIST

1996

FANG AI LIAN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHAIRMAN & MANAGING PARTNER, ERNST & YOUNG

1997

ELIZABETH SAM
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER DEPUTY PRESIDENT, OCBC BANK

1998

CLAIRE CHIANG
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, BANYAN TREE HOLDINGS

1999

JENNIE CHUA
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, RAFFLES INTERNATIONAL

1999

KIT CHAN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
SINGER & ACTRESS

1999

TERESA HSU
HER WORLD SPECIAL AWARD
FOUNDER, HOME FOR THE AGED SICK & HEART TO HEART SERVICES

2000

DR JENNIFER LEE
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, KK WOMEN’S & CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

2000

JING JUNHONG
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
HEAD COACH, NATIONAL WOMEN’S TABLE TENNIS TEAM

2001

CHNG SEOK TIN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
ARTIST, WRITER & COMMUNITY WORKER

2001

STEFANIE SUN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
SINGER-SONGWRITER

2002

OLIVIA LUM
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FOUNDER & GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HYFLUX LTD

2002

ELIM CHEW
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
ENTREPRENEUR & FOUNDER, 77TH STREET

2003

HALIMAH YACOB
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT & TRADE UNIONIST

2003

DR WONG TING HWAY
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
SURGEON & HUMANITARIAN WORKER

2004

ANNABEL PENNEFATHER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
LAWYER & VICE PRESIDENT, SINGAPORE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COUNCIL

2004

LI JIAWEI
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
FORMER NATIONAL TABLE TENNIS PLAYER

2005

EULEEN GOH
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, STANDARD CHARTERED SINGAPORE

2005

THERESA GOH
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
NATIONAL PARALYMPIC SWIMMER

2005

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS

2006

LIM SOO HOON
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
PERMANENT SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF FINANCE

2006

ESTHER TAN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
NAVAL DIVER & ENDURANCE SPORTS SPECIALIST

2007

DR NOELEEN HEYZER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS & SOCIAL SCIENTIST

2007

MELISSA KWEE
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NATIONAL VOLUNTEER & PHILANTHROPY CENTRE

2008

GOH SOO KHIM
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
CO-FOUNDER & FORMER ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, SINGAPORE DANCE THEATRE

2008

LAURENTIA TAN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
PARALYMPIC EQUESTRIAN ATHLETE

2008

YIP PIN XIU
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
NATIONAL PARALYMPIC SWIMMER

2009

LIM HWEE HUA
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CABINET MINISTER

2009

SINGAPORE WOMEN'S EVEREST TEAM
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
MOUNTAINEERS

2009

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD 50TH ANNIVERSARY & WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO

2010

DR CHEONG KOON HEAN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, HOUSING & DEVELOPMENT BOARD

2010

DR MARISSA TEO
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
RESEARCH FELLOW, NATIONAL CANCER CENTRE SINGAPORE

2010

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR, YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER & SPECIAL AWARD
SEE PHOTOS

2010

DR OON CHIEW SENG
HER WORLD SPECIAL AWARD
FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN, APEX HARMONY LODGE

2011/12

PROFESSOR IVY NG
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, SINGHEALTH

2011/12

JANICE WONG
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
CHEF & OWNER OF 2AM:DESSERTBAR

2011/12

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO

2013

ASSOC PROFESSOR LIM SWEE HIA
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SENIOR DIRECTOR, SINGHEALTH-ALICE LEE IAN

2013

DR YEO SZE LING
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
RESEARCH SCIENTIST, A*STAR INSTITUTE FOR INFOCOMM RESEARCH

2013

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS

2014

RACHEL ENG
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
JOINT MANAGING PARTNER, WONG PARTNERSHIP

2014

SIM CHI YIN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER

2014

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO

2015

ZURAIDAH ABDULLAH
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SENIOR ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

2015

PRISCILLA SHUNMUGAM
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
FASHION DESIGNER, ONG SHUNMUGAM

2015

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD 55TH ANNIVERSARY & WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS

2016

SUDHA NAIR
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FAMILY VIOLENCE SPECIALIST CENTRE

2016

JENNY TAY
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
MANAGING DIRECTOR OF DIRECT FUNERAL SERVICES
2009
LIM HWEE HUA
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR

SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO: Lim Hwee Hua, 51, made history by becoming Singapore’s first woman minister in April last year—as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance and Transport. The Her World Woman of the Year 2009 gives candid views on everything from pushing boundaries and being a better leader to staying unruffled and leaving guilt behind

FIRST TEST OF SELF
“One of the common arguments I had with my late tea merchant father was the value of extra-curricular activities (ECA) to girls. My father was very strict and he decided that I shouldn’t be spending all my time after school on softball. I was in that generation where it was already a plus for a girl 
to get an education, and he couldn’t see the point of me having an ECA. It took me almost three years to persuade him to let me play on the softball team. It was a lesson at an early stage of my life that sometimes, you just have to persevere and work towards changing the norm.”

PUSHING BOUNDARIES
“One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt from my mentors is
 that I should never draw limits to possibilities and to keep going until I hit the wall. One of the most significant points of my life was when I was 33 and there was an opportunity to become the head of a research team at (now defunct) investment bank Jardine Fleming.

“I felt that I was sufficiently equipped to take on the position but 
I was hesitant to step forward because all the other country heads were expatriate males. So I was sitting there thinking, “Do I let this pass?” It’s difficult because it’s unlike a female 
to step forward to say, “How about me?” But I felt that if I didn’t do it, I’d end up regretting it. So I decided to go for it. The bosses at Jardine were surprised when I approached them, but they said yes. The whole episode was a great affirmationI realised that if I made a pitch for myself, there will be opportunities.”

BECOMING A POLITICIAN
“I didn’t think I would become a politician. The opportunity was actually put in front of me to consider and it fitted in nicely because I was thinking about giving back to society. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I had the attributes that would make me a good Member of Parliament but I decided to try it out. I thought, if it comes to a stage where I don’t think I’m suitable, at least I’ve found out a bit about myself.”

ENCOURAGING YOUNG WOMEN TO TAKE UP LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
“It’s easy for young women to stick to
 a career-only phase of life without realising that they’re foregoing other aspects of their self-development. Those who have the capacity to take on more and can give back to society should find out what they believe in. I would like them to put into effect what their convictions are and consciously allocate their time and resources towards causes.”

BEING A BETTER LEADER
“There’s always room for me to continue to listen to as wide an audience as possible. I always feel the need to remain open to others. Especially to views that are different from mine so I’m able to examine the possibility that my views are incorrect or irrelevant.”

BEING A BOSS
“As a team leader, I expect everyone 
to pull his or her own weight. But
 I’m not unrealistic and I don’t put people through impossible deadlines. Occasionally, people don’t measure 
up and I’ll sit back and think about why that is so—if my expectations were too high or if the person was not sufficiently motivated. I do a lot of reflection when things sometimes don’t go the way I expect them to.

“It is equally important for me to get feedback from my team. I always encourage them to be honest with their comments because if they stop doing so, it’d be a downward spiral because we can’t be truthful with each other.”

LEARNING FROM MISTAKES
“Don’t be quick to shift the blame on someone else. If it’s a question of your own lack of skills and capabilities or poor judgment, think about what 
you can do about it and learn from
 your mistakes. Even if it’s an outright sabotage by a colleague or rival, think through the ways you can deal with that in future. We should not be unwilling to take on positions because we have failed on occasion. You can’t only go for an opportunity because you’re 99.9 per cent sure that you’re going to succeed.”

BATTLING THE WORKING MOTHER’S GUILT
“Women should accept that one can’t do everything and have it all. There will be trade-offs. Personally, I took two years off from 1985 to look after my young children. In exchange for that, I was prepared for a slower career track and a harder time when trying to get back into the workforce. Because I took time off then, I don’t feel bad about spending less time with them now.

“I’m not cut out to be a full-time housewife. With the support of my family, there was no need for me to stay home when I didn’t think I was helpful around the house. So I always tell women not to feel guilty because not all women are made to stay home—especially if the guilt is heaped onto them by others.

“I’ve never thought of permanently giving up my career to look after my children: I’d like to work until I drop.”

MOTHERHOOD
“I’m fearful of how when I don’t teach the right values, I see it reflected in my kids. My three children are constant reminders that I have to be a good example. What I think about and how I behave—these things influence them.”

STAYING UPDATED
“I no longer have the privilege of time 
to read books. But I like to read short pieces about different personalities
 in magazines, especially on people
 who have succeeded in a particular business, innovation or cause. These hold specific lessons on staying focused and perseverance. I read anything from The Economist and Time to Her World to stay in touch with what people think and are talking about.”

NEVER BEING RUFFLED
“I suspect that it’s probably genetic because my late father was a very calm person. But I think growing up in a large family of nine children in a small three-room Tiong Bahru flat helped. There were always quarrels and fights, so I learnt how to deal with the fact that there will always be people around you with different views, and to look at the source of the situation and unhappiness.

“For example, during the meet-the-people sessions, some of the people who come are really angry. But I know they’re not angry with me, so to react angrily would be an inappropriate response. I’m always prepared to be empathetic and think about the other person’s point of view. Why did the person say such a thing? What’s the real reason? A lot of what I do at these sessions involves talking through issues and helping people manage their own problems and anger.” HW