Strength. Leadership. Resilience.
These are some of the defining qualities that this year’s Her World Woman of the Year, Ng Gim Choo, founder and chairwoman of EtonHouse, and Young Woman Achiever, poet, lawyer, and multi-hyphenate Amanda Chong, possess.
Introduced in 1991, the Her World Woman of the Year accolade is presented to inspirational women who have broken boundaries in their profession or respective field and left a mark on society, both in Singapore and abroad.
The Young Woman Achiever is awarded to exceptional young women who are trailblazers and have surpassed existing boundaries to inspire those around them and pave the way for future generations.
To celebrate the achievements of both exceptional winners this year, around 200 guests were invited for the awards ceremony accompanied by a gala dinner at Raffles Hotel’s Jubilee Ballroom.
This marks the return of a full-scale Woman of the Year gala, after two years of subdued celebrations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s iteration was organised with support from our official partner, The Hour Glass.
The evening was graced by the President of the Republic of Singapore, Madam Halimah Yacob, who was the ceremony’s guest-of-honour.
The president herself was Her World’s Woman of the Year in 2003, and she had previously been the guest-of-honour for the 2013, 2015 and 2018 gala iterations.
Other guests in attendance included business leaders and industry titans, creative giants and recognisable faces from the arts, as well as style mavens and influential leaders.
Notable attendees include Jennie Chua, 1999 Her World Woman of the Year and the chairperson of the Her World Woman of the Year judging committee, previous Young Woman Achiever recipients, such as five-time Paralympic gold medallist Yip Pin Xiu, as well as Her World’s October 2022 cover stars Lum May Yee and Glenn Yong.
Kicking off the evening, SPH Media’s editor-in-chief for lifestyle and entertainment media Ignatius Low warmly welcomed guests to the gala in his opening address.
“Tonight, we are honouring two exceptional women – Her World’s Woman of the Year and Young Woman Achiever 2022. The judges found it difficult to choose the winners from a field of very strong nominees,” he says. “I congratulate all of them for exemplifying true grit and dedication, and having made an impact on everyone around them – at work, at home and to the communities where they each belong.”
Her World’s editor-in-chief Elizabeth Lee then took the stage to share more about the year-long selection and judging process for the awards, as well as the upcoming plans for the title.
“Empowering women has always been at the heart of Her World’s mission. As we continue to be the voice for Singaporean women, we have several exciting plans lined up ahead,” she shares. This includes an updated look for our print magazine, with a revised look and feel for our digital site, growing the Her World Tribe, and the launch of the first-ever Her World Mentorship Programme.
Guests then fêted the occasion over dinner, while violinist Joy Yong serenaded guests with a sweet classical performance.
The 2022 Young Woman Achiever award was then presented to Amanda Chong, who shared more about her idea of what achievement is – not the high places you reach, but how much you are willing to lay down for the benefit of others.
“When I think of the word ‘achiever’, I think of my mother, who is here tonight,” says Amanda. “I think of my mother, when I think of achievement, because what I have learnt from her life is that achievement is not the high places you reach, but how much of yourself you are willing to lay down for the benefit of others, even when no one is watching.”
She adds: “Today, I want to honour all women for the unseen labours of care that you engage in every day, as daughters, mothers, aunties, partners, co-workers, neighbours and friends. Your acts of love expand the space of compassion in our world, and stand to me as true achievements of eternal value. It is my hope that there will be room for every woman and girl to thrive in Singapore, and that the weight of inequality, stereotypes, or gender violence will not hold us back. There is much to be done for this to be our reality.”
Ng Gim Choo was then presented her award, and in her speech, she noted the importance of childhood and building emotional and social competence in young children, as well as the role of women in society.
“People ask what my aspiration is for education. I feel our society places undue emphasis on examination results. Good grades do not guarantee success in life,” she highlights in her speech. “What is important is that children have an enjoyable childhood. They look forward to going to school every day and pursue what inspires them. When you are motivated, you will excel and continue to learn.”
She notes that one should never give up when it comes to chasing their dreams. “I started EtonHouse after being a housewife for 12 years. I would like to share this message with all the women in whichever stage of life you are. Don’t give up on what you believe in. Dare to think different and follow your dreams.”
Here’s an exclusive peek at Her World’s biggest night of the year: