WIT Awards Asia 2022: meet the 16 women tech stars “emerging with impact”

The winners proved they are emerging with impact after the disruptions of COVID-19 by leading commercially successful firms which are inclusive too

When it comes to female representation in the tech sector, you could say that women in Asia are ahead of the curve; in South-East Asia, women account for 32% of tech talent compared to 28% worldwide, but that doesn’t mean the job is done.

Female representation in Asia may be above the global average, but women are still underrepresented as founders and co-founders across the region, which is the same worldwide.

With their absence from leadership positions, highlighting awards that acknowledge the female tech leaders who do exist is essential to inspiring other women and girls to consider tech careers and diversify the global workforce, whether they dream of being corporate leaders or startup founders, and this makes the Women in IT Awards (WIT Awards) Asia so special.

WIT Awards Asia 2022: a seminal year

Sixteen inspiring women were recognised in the recent WIT Asia awards ceremony, the fourth outing of the awards. After two years of lockdowns and other business disruptions due to COVID-19, this year’s awards carried special significance.

The theme highlighted growth, continuity, and results – and emerging with impact, which is essential to business survival and commercial success after a global pandemic. Also, in the new world order where talent and stakeholders expect equitability from the businesses they engage with, emerging with impact in 2022 and beyond will be about tying commercial success into internal workplace diversity, equity and inclusion too.

A standout category winner was Woman of the Year. The judges described the worthy winner as “a woman who has demonstrated the highest degree of IT excellence, innovation and leadership over the last two years and shone a light on the great things women in IT can achieve. Candidates should not only have demonstrated outstanding business- or technology-focused achievements but also give examples of how they have actively sought to bring more diversity into the technology industry.  ”

The 2022 winners

This year’s Woman of the Year was Winnie Lee, COO of Appier Inc. An immunologist turned successful tech entrepreneur. At Appier, she has worked to build a culture of open-mindedness and direct communication, a workplace culture most would agree sounds inclusive and a happy place to be. Lee is an example of the power of motivation in pivoting into a fruitful new career.

The judges continued: “She has leveraged her leadership position to implement long-lasting changes, including flexible working policies and office facilities to accommodate nursing mothers. This incredible woman is a great example of how a female tech entrepreneur can role model successfully and translate how women can start tech careers and companies at any point in their lives regardless of age, race or background.”

The full list of remarkable female winners is below:

Advocate of the Year Ratha Chea, Cambodia Women Entrepreneurs Association (CWEA)

Ally of the YearJenny Tan, ISACA SG Chapter

CIO of the YearHenna Patel, HSBC

Data Leader of the Year  - Jinsoo Jang, LG Uplus

DEI Recruitment and Advancement Initiative of the Year – Accenture

Digital Transformation Leader of the Year – Ying Zhang, Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization

Diversity Lead of the YearAparna Prabhudesai, InfoCepts

Innovator of the YearKausambi Manjita, Mason

IT Team of the Year (Led by a Woman)Jenny Zhang, Johnson & Johnson Medical(Shanghai) Ltd

Next Generation Leader of the YearFatin Fatihah Zahari, Microsoft

Outstanding Contribution of the Year – Chung Kei Dorothy Chau, Crypto.com

Outstanding Diversity Network of the Year – Association of Mongolian Women in Technology and Science

Security Leader of the YearMel Migriño, MERALCO and Subsidiaries

Social Mobility Project of the YearMethawee Thatsanasateankit, Vulcan Coalition

Sustainable Tech Award of the Year – Vulcan Coalition

Woman of the YearWinnie Lee, Appier Inc

For information about the ‘Women In IT’ Summit & Awards Series, click here. To read about a multigenerational working talk at the Women In IT Asia Summit, click here.

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