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Photo: Her World

In a world often dominated by men, Professor Jackie Ying and Ms Caecilia Chu have carved out distinct places for themselves, being awarded the prestigious titles of Her World Woman of the Year 2023 and Her World Young Woman Achiever 2023, respectively. 

Professor Ying, apart from being the driving force behind A*STAR’s NanoBio Lab, co-founder of Cellbae, and the founding executive director of the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), has made monumental strides in fields from biomedical sciences to agricultural tech. Her achievements are a testament to her unwavering dedication to global advancement.

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From left to right: Raymond Goh, Estelle Low, Ray Ticsay. (Photo: Her World)

On the other hand, Ms Chu has been a beacon in the fintech space as the co-founder and CEO of YouTrip. More than just a digital multi-currency wallet, under her guidance, YouTrip has expanded its horizons, launching YouBiz in 2022, which aids local small and medium enterprises.

This recognition was part of a grand ceremony at JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach, attended by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment. These annual awards by Her World are not just titles; they signify a celebration of women who, through their work, influence their professional realms and invigorate the community at large. The selection process, following public nominations, culminated in choices made by a panel helmed by entrepreneur Ms Jennie Chua.

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From left to right: Novelist Amanda Lee Koe; Filmmaker Kirsten Tan. (Photo: Her World)

Reflecting on the significance of the awards, Ms Elizabeth Lee, editor-in-chief of Her World, noted the increasing presence of young women in STEM fields, emphasising that both Ying and Chu’s efforts are groundbreaking, resonating both locally and globally. 

“It is no coincidence that both our winners are women in STEM,” Lee shared. “More young Singaporean women are entering science and tech fields and making their mark in these previously male-dominated arenas. Both Professor Ying and Caecilia’s contributions are remarkable and game-changing at home and abroad, and we are proud to call them our 2023 Women of the Year.”

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From left to right: Casherine Goh, Kelley Wong, Colette Zheng, Yvonne Mak; all from Young Women’s Leadership Connection. (Photo: Her World)

Upon receiving her award, Professor Ying expressed her deep connection and gratitude to Singapore, acknowledging her team’s collective achievements. “I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the building of Biopolis, and the biomedical research enterprise. This award is a great honour that I would like to share with my staff and students at NanoBio Lab, the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, as well as our spinoff companies.”

Ms Chu, reflecting on her accolade, highlighted the importance of breaking gender barriers in the tech industry and highlighted YouTrip’s commitment to a more inclusive society. “As a female leader in the traditionally male-dominated tech industry, the award encourages me to continue inspiring more women to pursue their ambitions without letting gender define them.”

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From left to right: Ng Gim Choo, Founder & Chairwoman; Ng Yi XIan, Group CEO, both from Etonhouse International Group. (Photo: Her World)

The October issue of Her World will feature both of these remarkable women, in line with its revamped content focus.