2 Pinays enter Forbes’ 50 over 50 Asia list

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star
2 Pinays enter Forbesâ 50 over 50 Asia list
Maria Grace Uy.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Two Filipinas made it to Forbes’ 50 over 50: Asia 2022, a list of women “who are shattering age and gender norms all over the globe.”

Joining the list of age-defying list of 50 women are Converge president and co-founder Maria Grace Uy and Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa.

Forbes cited Uy’s key role in growing Converge into one of the biggest fixed broadband operators in the Philippines today. Uy founded Converge together with her husband Dennis Anthony Uy in 2007 to provide world-class internet connectivity to Filipinos.

Converge, which went public in 2020, is valued at around P230 billion or approximately $4.6 billion.

“This recognition from Forbes Asia is an honor and proves to women worldwide the value they bring to their field, at any age. I would also like to give credit to the other hardworking women at Converge who are making their mark in the ICT field,” Uy said.

The list, according to Forbes, is composed of “founders, business and political leaders, scientists and vanguards leading the way throughout the Asia-Pacific region.”

Uy and Ressa join other distinguished women in the roster which includes Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, World Bank managing director Anshula Kant, Samoa Prime Minister Fiame Mata’afa, World Health Organization chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan, Macquarie Group CEO and managing director Shemara Wikramanaya, OCBC Group CEO Helen Wong, and Indian author Arundhati Roy.

Uy said women in business today should not be afraid to voice out their opinions. “Many women realize too late the ability to stand up for themselves, whether it’s because of nurture or the culture. Thus, we need to encourage women to speak out and make sure their voices are heard,” she said.

A certified public accountant, Uy served as Finance and Accounting Manager at tech giant IBM before becoming CFO at various family-held companies.

She earned her BS Accountancy degree from De La Salle University and notched 16th place in the CPA Licensure Board Examination in 1989.

Under the leadership of the Uy couple, Converge has steadily expanded, reaching 9.6 million homes. It has more than doubled its net income to P5.2 billion as of end-September 2021.

This year, nationwide expansion is still atop the fiber broadband provider’s agenda, intending to gain traction and make headway in the markets of Visayas and Mindanao as it pursues its goal to reach 55 percent of Philippine households by 2023.

On Ressa, Forbes cited her for her “sharp coverage of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war” which has been met with consistent threats from the Philippine government, including the filing of 10 arrest warrants for cyber libel among other complaints.

Last December, Ressa and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. Ressa is the first Filipina to win the Nobel.




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