Ho Ching is 33rd on Forbes most powerful women list 2021

·2 min read
Ho Ching is the only Singaporean on Forbes'  World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list. (PHOTO: REUTERS/Axel Schmidt)
Ho Ching is the only Singaporean on Forbes' World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list. (PHOTO: REUTERS/Axel Schmidt)

SINGAPORE — Only one Singaporean made it to Forbes' World’s Most Powerful Women list this year.

Coming in at number 33 is Ho Ching, former chief executive of Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings. Ho, who retired in October this year, helmed Temasek for 17 years and helped its portfolio to grow to more than US$313 billion.

Ho in October was named the next chairman of the Temasek Trust, the entity responsible for Temasek's philanthropic endowments, effective April 2022. Ho is also the wife of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Her ranking this year falls slightly behind the 30th placing she received in the 2020 list.

The women on Forbes' 18th annual list come from 30 countries and territories and work across finance, technology, politics, philanthropy and entertainment.

Women have gained ground in the C-suite this year. This year's list of power women includes 40 CEOs, the most since 2015, who oversee a record US$3.3 trillion in revenue. But what they gained in the boardroom, they lost elsewhere. There are only 19 world leaders, two less than a year ago.

For the first time in more than a decade, there is a new number one.

Who made the top three spots?

For only the third time in the 18 years since the list was compiled, German chancellor Angela Merkel, who retired from public office on 8 December, is not No. 1.

The top spot goes to billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. She’s the third richest woman in the world, but it’s her unfettered access to that money—and her determination to donate it in a way that is meaningful and revolutionary—that puts her above the competition. In 2020, she announced US$5.8 billion in gifts to about 500 nonprofits. Then in June 2021, Scott said she gave another US$2.74 billion to 286 groups.

US Vice President Kamala Harris is behind her at No. 2. Harris has moved up one spot since she’s been sworn into office, switching places with Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank who is now No. 3.

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