“I love that!”, said Singbridge Corporate CEO Chong Phit Lian, with a little clap, when we told her – in confidence, of course – that game-changers making The Peak Power List this year would be all female. “I like to support women,” said Chong, who made our Power List last year (theme: Power of Grit), an engineer-by-training who knows a thing or two about smashing glass ceilings herself.
Held at the Hotel InterContinental this year, the event was a celebration of female trailblazers, including not just corporate movers and shakers, but also leaders from fields such as philanthropy and social enterprise. As guests enjoyed exquisite whisky-inspired courses prepared by Hotel InterContinental executive chef Eric Neo, each paired with specially selected Macallan whiskies, the Power List was announced, complete with short videos introducing each honouree.
The anticipation in the room was palpable, and the hundred-odd guests were rapt. Even before Jennie Chua’s name was announced, there were knowing nods around the ballroom as the evening’s host reeled off the former’s list of accomplishments. “I’ve worked with her before. She’s great,” remarked Adrian Tan, a 2014 Power List honouree and the founder of Ad Planet.
Chua, a distinguished entrepreneur, former hotelier and now Singapore’s Ambassador to the United Mexican States, showed herself to have quite the sense of humour in a video segment that elicited plenty of charmed chuckles from the audience. While showing off some nifty dance moves during her Power List photo shoot, she declared: “What many people don’t know is that I’m a bad dancer – I just have a good partner.”
Honourees also shared their tales of balancing professional success and personal goals. Chong Ee Rong, the managing director of Ogilvy Public Relations, told a Straits Times reporter: “When I first joined, there weren’t a lot of working mothers even in the female-dominated industry (of public relations). But now we have created (a) culture where we have… women with difference experiences and perspectives on board.”
The event saw new friendships being forged and old friends reconnecting: One table, for instance, saw the meeting of creative forces: Effusive compliments were exchanged between dinner table-mates, ad man Tan and the founders of Foreign Policy Design Group, Yu Yah Leng and Arthur Chin. Elsewhere, Chong Phit Lian spent a good part of dinner catching up with fellow 2014 Power List honouree, Scanteak executive director Catherine Lim. “We haven’t seen each other in six years!” said Lim.
And what better to reunite two powerful ladies than an evening dedicated to Singapore’s most successful women?