2 Pinays make Forbes power list

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Two Chinese-Filipino businesswomen, the SM Group’s Teresita Sy-Coson and Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. (RRHI) president and chief operating officer Robina Gokongwei-Pe, made it to Forbes magazine’s 2016 list of 50 most powerful women in Asia.

The 2016 list of 50 Power BusinessWomen had 27 newcomers while several well-known names have dropped off, which Forbes attributed to global economic angst.

“The list acknowledges the inroads women are making in the business world,” Forbes said.

At the same time, it noted that gender inequality persists.

According to Forbes, candidates must have to be active in the upper echelons of business in Asia, must be influential and have access to robust financial resources.

Sy-Coson, 65, is the eldest daughter of taipan Henry Sy. She is at the helm of Banco de Oro Unibank, now the largest lender in the Philippines and constantly on the list.

Gokongwei-Pe, 54, made it to the list for the first time. The eldest daughter of taipan John Gokongwei, she is at the helm of multi-format retailer RRHI, one of the country’s biggest retailers.

Citing Grant Thornton’s Women in Business report released in March, Forbes said the global proportion of senior business roles held by women stands at 24 percent, while a third of businesses have no women in senior management.

“The Philippines has one of the highest proportions of women in senior jobs, 39 percent, while Japan is among the lowest, seven percent,” it said.

On the list is a core group of Chinese women who created wealth in their country’s manufacturing sector, despite China’s slowdown.

These include Ma Xiuhui, who started a company churning out traditional light bulbs and now illuminates homes around the world with Opple LED lighting, and Mou Jinxiang, whose Lianhe Chemical sells specialty chemicals to giants such as Dow Chemical, Forbes said.

Roughly a quarter of the new candidates, meanwhile, are in technology, the magazine noted.

These include Internet security company founder Jane Yan who founded Venustech. Her company claims doing business with 80 percent of China’s government and military.

Eva Chen is also back in the rankings as her Japan-based Trend Micro tackles security for the Internet-of-Things.

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