Since 1991, Her World has been giving out the Her World Woman of the Year (WOTY) award to inspirational women who have broken boundaries in their profession, made breakthroughs in their industries and left a mark on society, both in Singapore and beyond. This year is the 28th year of continuing this tradition, and yet, the significance of the event hasn’t lost its lustre.

The other award that was presented on Aug 16 was the Her World Young Woman Achiever award, which was first introduced in 1999. The award recognises young women whose achievements have surpassed existing boundaries, inspiring those around them and paving the way for others in the future. 

Around 300 guests were invited to a gala dinner at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore to celebrate these two exceptional role models, movers and shakers who have gone above and beyond to innovate, inspire and spread the message of personal empowerment to women all over. These women have passion and gumption by the truckloads, and they are fearless in their pursuit of excellence.

Attended by business leaders, recognisable faces from the arts, fashion & beauty mavens and some of the most influential people across the island, it was certainly a night that went down in history. From chic cocktails to beautiful people, here are the 15 things that you need to know about WOTY 2019.


Her World Woman of the Year 2019

Photo: Darren Chang

1. The Guest-of-honour for the event was Mrs Josephine Teo, Minster for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs. 

In her speech, Minister Teo shared that Singaporeans now have the world’s longest life expectancy at about 85 years. It is even longer for women. As such, she believes that longevity is our opportunity.

“With more good years in our lives, there’s really no need to give up one aspiration for the other,” said the Minister.

But she cautioned, “we need not be equally good in all of these things all the time. That is a recipe for great stress.”

“Instead, we can re-order our priorities at each stage of life. We can be good in the things that matter at different times,” Minister Teo advised. 

“Over the course of many years, we can live life to the fullest. That is the great choice we have today as women.”

Minister Josephine Teo


2. This year, Her World honours Susan Chong, founder and CEO of Greenpac as our Woman of the Year.

Susan started the company in 2002 at a time when few businesses were aware of environmental friendliness and sustainability.

As a result of her innovative work, Greenpac has grown into one of Singapore’s leading sustainable packaging companies. It is now one of Singapore’s top 10 packaging companies, which has won more than 50 enterprise awards and counts some of the largest Fortune 500 companies as its clients.



3.  Annabelle Kwok, founding CEO of NeuralBay was conferred the Young Woman Achiever award.

In 2017, she founded NeuralBay, her second start-up, which develops software to detect and recognise people, objects and text, paired with hardware to capture images.

Her vision is to make AI accessible, affordable and available to the larger community.

She has also been a strong advocate of giving back to the community as a Make-A-Wish Singapore volunteer for the past seven years.



4. Most inspiring quote #1:

“I want women to know that even though they may have goals and dreams that seem impossible to achieve now, that they should keep them close to their hearts. It’s really about your aptitude for learning, how determined you are, and your attitude. If you consistently work at improving yourself, some day, you’ll see success.”- Susan Chong

Watch Susan’s speech in full here.


5. Most inspiring quote #2:

“I’m just a girl who dares to love – who dares to open up her heart to include others, who dares to share and contribute…When you give with an open
heart, you will receive in more ways than you could ever imagine.” – Annabelle Kwok

Watch Annabelle’s speech in full here.


6. Past Her World Woman of the Year winners like Ng Ling Ling (2018), Lim Swee Hia (2013), Jennie Chua (1999) and Yu-Foo Yee Shoon (1995) attended the event.

Former Young Woman Achiever award winners such as Olivia Lee (2018), Kirsten Tan (2017), Jenny Tan (2016), Janice Wong (2011/2012) and Kit Chan (1999) were also present.

All nine ladies were given a round of applause from the audience as Ms Jennie Chua invited all past winners to rise from their seats to be acknowledged.

Kit Chan

Photo: Darren Chang


7. The vivacious Sandra Riley Tang or Rriley charmed the audience and burned the stage with a dynamic performance. She flaunted her lovely vocal cords with her song “Burn”, from her latest album RRILEY as well as her latest single “Mmm bye”. She was decked out in a stunning Fendi number that showed off her tan beautifully.  


Sandra Riley Tang

Photo: Darren Chang

8. The emcee of the event was Charmaine Yee, who captivated the crowd with her poise and eloquence.

Charmaine Yee

Photo: Darren Chang


9. Guests were treated to a sumptuous dessert bar after dinner, featuring an extensive selection of mouth-watering sweets to tantalise. On the table: Caviar and Essence of Lime Yuzu, Passion Fruit Crème Brûlée, Kona Mocha Cheese Cake, Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate Crunch Bar and Mini Coconut Cup filled with Adzuki Bean Pudding. Definitely the one that all guests were gravitating towards.


Shangri-La Hotel Singapore dessert bar

Photo: Darren Chang


10. Two bespoke cocktails were created by Martell specially for our guests that evening. The Curious Punch was a delicious concoction of Martell VSOP with lemon juice and sugar syrup. The Curious Julep was a real crowd pleaser, elegantly garnished with berries and a mint bouquet.



11. A decadent main of Guinea Fowl Truffle Velvet with Pumpkin Savoy Cabbage Ragout, Crisp Potato and Arugula Cracker, had guests nodding with unequivocal approval.



12. Both winners of the awards received a jewellery set from Tiffany & Co and SKII-Spa vouchers.


Her World Young Woman Achiever, Annabelle Kwok, receiving her prize

Photo: Darren Chang

13. Guests went home with some exquisite door gifts: spa vouchers from SK-II Spa and fragrances from Interparfums.



14. Guests could create their very own botanical scented tablets by arranging and decorating their scented tablets with beautiful dried pressed flowers, filled with Hush Candle’s calming (lavender, bergamot, ylang ylang) & detoxifying (geranium, grapefruit, orange) scents at a special pop-up booth- a unique souvenir that guests appreciated. 



Check out all our best dressed attendees here: