This year’s Women in IT Awards Asia shone an inspirational light on the women making themselves known in the tech sector. Women who, through their hard work, are forging a path for others to follow.
The awards, whose headline sponsor was Amazon Web Services, proved that the region is one of the most progressive places to be a woman working in the tech sector. Women account for 32% of tech employees in Southeast Asia compared to the global average of 28%.
Jennifer Lauretta Leong Bee Yoong from 360 Smart Home took home the coveted Entrepreneur of the Year award. Her business was named one of ‘The Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Startups in Singapore 2021’ by leading business magazine Swiftnlift for the firm’s innovative tech solutions for the elderly at home.
The judges said: “Our entrepreneur of the year is doing amazing things with tech and her business skillset. Her organisation offers a unique programme that supports seniors who need assistance or live alone. It is tackling a global problem given the challenges that this age group experiences and even more so now due to the pandemic.”
“In such a short time, this entrepreneur was able to work with the local government to launch this hi-end solution for smart home automation using artificial intelligence and machine learning and introduce it into senior public housing.
“She has also demonstrated growth plans to support different use cases and target groups who may have similar needs. In its first year, this valuable organisation emerged in the Top 500 global start-ups and has been listed as one of the Top 10 AI start-ups in Singapore in 2021. Congratulations and thank you for all the work you do for our elderly community.”
Anna Green, Head of SMB, Asia Pacific and Japan at Amazon Web Services, was this year’s Woman of the Year for her impressive leadership skills and her work managing initiatives that advance women in tech.
The judges had this to say about Green: “This year’s Woman of the Year is an example to all women. She has demonstrated that she leads from the front, and it is evident that she is hugely respected by the workforce. Her experience across multiple industries has helped her deliver results and effectively support colleagues, clients, and the business.
“Our judges see her as a meticulous leader with a breadth of knowledge and who has achieved great technology innovations by leveraging tech such as blockchain and machine learning to transform their business growth. With this technology and these services, she has helped tackle wider societal challenges.
“Over half of her core team are women, and she champions many initiatives that support, teach and empower the female workforce. She is an inspiration to female tech professionals and those professionals looking for opportunities in the technology industry. She is our 2021 Woman of the Year!”
The DEI initiative of the Year winner was the BeingWISE initiative at Intel, India, which stands for Women Innovators, Social leaders and Entrepreneurs. They won the award for their work creating a programme that can be taken up by other tech firms to increase female representation.
The judges called the BeingWISE initiative “really inspiring.” They continued: “They have built industry-wide collaboration with the local communities and governments. With this support, they raised awareness and started educating girls from an early age to young women who are just beginning or looking to change their careers. Judges agree that this is what strong leadership looks like – when an idea is realised to motivate your peers and community in achieving a common goal.
“The submission clearly outlined robust metrics and measurements: not only why the initiative is critical and how it will be measured, but more importantly – the process that is taking place to dismantle a global system of inequality.
“It is a programme that covers and supports women of all walks. It is not just an internally driven women’s programme but a platform that can be leveraged by many companies to tackle our common goals to address the gender gaps and improve industry diversity.”
The Women in IT Awards Asia 2021 winners were:
CIO of the Year – Michelle Wu, Ingram Micro
DEI Initiative of the Year – BeingWISE, Intel
Digital Transformation Leader – Christina Gao, Shell
Education & Training Initiative – Sisters of Code IT Academy STEP Cambodia
Employer of the Year – Intel
Entrepreneur of the Year – Jennifer Lauretta Leong Bee Yoong, 360 Smart Home
Innovator of the Year – Rama Sridhar, Mastercard
IT Team of the Year – Selina Yuan, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International Business Unit
Male Ally of the Year – Puneet Chandok, Amazon Internet Services Private Limited
Next Generation Leader – Mahe Zehra Husain, FiveRivers Technologies
Outstanding Contribution of the year – Jenny Tan, CapitaLand Group
Security Leader of the Year – Neha Malhotra, Credit Suisse
Tech for Good Award of the Year – Hapinoy Microventures Inc
Woman of the Year – Anna Green, AWS
To find out more about the inspirational ‘Women in IT Summit and Awards Series’, click here.