News / Asia

Q&A with Moira Forbes: Leading Women in Asia

FILE - World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Margaret Chan speaks during a conference on Universal Health Coverage for inclusive and sustainable growth in Tokyo.
FILE - World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Margaret Chan speaks during a conference on Universal Health Coverage for inclusive and sustainable growth in Tokyo.
Frances Alonzo
Forbes announced its 10th anniversary of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women listing. Among the top 100 are 23 Asian women that include self-made entrepreneur billionaires, an entertainer with over 66 million social media followers and a head of state that oversees a 1.6 trillion dollar economy. 
 
Moira Forbes, Forbes President and Publisher of ForbesWoman, told VOA's Frances Alonzo that nine Chinese women are taking the lead in Asia. 
 
Q&A with Moira Forbes: Leading Women in Asia
Q&A with Moira Forbes: Leading Women in Asiai
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

FORBES: Of the 23 women, China had the highest number of women on our power women’s list with nine women this year, followed by India with three women, Singapore with two women. Then other countries represented were Burma, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.  
 
Women from Asia-Pacific on our list represent and exemplify the other trends that we are seeing all across the world. Our first is obviously the ways in which women are leveraging their political power, overseeing some of the largest and most influential economies in the world. The highest ranking woman from Asia on our list is the President of South Korea. She oversees a 1.6 trillion dollar economy. She came into office looking to rejuvenate the economy and rekindle relations with North Korea, which has been a challenge. But she’s someone who exemplifies, not just wielding huge influence in her own country and not just in Asia, but diplomatic and political relations around the world.
 
Another great trend that we’re seeing that is exemplified on this list as well is the use of social media. New to the list this year was the entertainer Yao Chen at just 34 years old. She’s an entertainer, well-known obviously in China and around the region. But what we thought was very interesting was the fact that she’s using her platform and she’s using her celebrity to drive change in meaningful ways. She’s the most socially active, or has the highest social following of any of our power women with more than 66 million followers on Weibo. But she’s also using that platform to be a champion for human rights issues.
 
And another trend is the rise of entrepreneurs. This year overall on our list, we had 18 women who either founded their own businesses or foundations. And we also had nine self-made billionaires around the world on our list this year, including women like Zhang Xin, number 62 on our list , who is a co-founder and CEO of SOHO China. So women are wielding huge influence in traditional power roles but striking out on their own and creating meaningful businesses in doing so.
 
ALONZO:  You mention that the largest group from Asia is China. What is it about these women in China that seem to really dominate the list from Asia?
 
FORBES:  What we [have] seen, not just on our power women list, but we’ve seen China representing a lot of categories where women are emerging into positions of political power. Someone like Zhang Xin, for example,  cites the fact that even under communism, women were equally educated, had equal education on par with their male counterparts. The fact that they had access to education and its economy that’s booming.  So when we are looking at these economies that are in high growth mode, or at least in high growth mode in relation to other parts of the world, often there is a talent vacuum where if you have a highly educated female population you are going to see more and more women rise up the ranks just because of that very talent vacuum.
 
We’ve seen a lot of female entrepreneurs emerge out of China. Self-made billionaires emerging out of China, seizing opportunities before them in ways that may not have ever been before possible. Often these women are Western educated, so they understand  business acumen across different markets and they are creating businesses that scale far beyond the traditional scope of country borders.
 
ALONZO:  What’s the youngest woman that you see there and the oldest?
 
FORBES:  The youngest woman on this year’s list is Yao Chen at just 34 years old, and the oldest woman is Margaret Chan who is age 66, director-general of the World Health Organization.
 
ALONZO:  What can women do to increase their own influence and their own power in their own worlds?
 
FORBES:  I think you know the most important thing to be a change agent today, is the ability to connect with others.  I think power today and always has been really about the ability to influence. How do you shape minds? How do you create a dialogue? How do you rally people around your vision as a leader? And so I think great leadership comes from the ability to influence and that comes from the ability to connect and engage individuals regardless of culture, age, ethnicity and the like.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in public More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid