5 Filipinas in Forbes’ list of 50 inspirational women

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star
5 Filipinas in Forbes� list of 50 inspirational women
Actress Dolly de Leon at the 2023 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival closing ceremony.
Philstar.com / Kristofer Purnell

MANILA, Philippines — Five Filipinas, including Filipina actress Dolly de Leon and Ayala Land Inc. president Anna Ma. Margarita Dy, made it to Forbes’ 50 Over 50: Asia 2024 list, which features “50 inspirational women across Asia-Pacific who are proving that the years after 50 are the new golden age.”

Aside from De Leon and Dy, also on the Forbes list are Puregold co-founder Susan Co, peace negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Medilink president and CEO Esther Go.

“Co is one-half of the power couple (with a combined net worth of $2.3 billion) that founded the Philippines’ affordable supermarket chain Puregold, which has grown popular with the middle class and has more than 300 stores nationwide. Co also is vice-chair of Cosco Capital, a retail holding company with stakes in commercial real estate and liquor distribution businesses, and holds directorship in dozens of other companies. Last year Puregold acquired 14 branches of rival supermarket Divimart, with plans to snap up more of its competitor’s locations,” Forbes said.

On Coronel-Ferrer, Forbes cited her efforts in conflict resolution and gender inclusivity.

“Coronel-Ferrer was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in November 2023, the prestigious annual prize for improving life in Asia. During the 1970s, she fought against martial rule and became a key figure in resolving post-dictatorship armed conflicts. She played a pivotal role in the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, a model of gender-responsive provisions and inclusive peace processes,” Forbes said.

Another Filipina who made it to the list is Go, president and CEO of Medilink Networks.

Forbes cited Go for leading “electronic health-tech firm Medilink for nearly 20 years, growing the company to connect more than 200,000 physicians with more than two million patients in the Philippines.”

She also serves as director of other Philippines corporations, including Equicom Health Services, Equicom Savings Bank and Security Bank. Go earned her MBA at Harvard University and worked as a VP for CitiGroup in New York until 2005, when she returned to the Philippines.

Actress De Leon, meanwhile, holds the distinction of being the first Filipino nominated for a Golden Globe award. She gained international acclaim for her role as Abigail in the satirical 2022 film “Triangle of Sadness.”

“She is also the first Filipino member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, after acting for three decades while juggling her role as a single mother of four. De Leon recently starred in two US-made films, ‘Between the Temples’ and ‘Ghostlight,’ which premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival,” Forbes said.

Ayala Land’s Dy, who took the helm in October, became the first female CEO of the Philippines’ second-largest property developer by market value.

“Her rise comes as the company – the real estate arm of the Ayala Group, a conglomerate controlled by billionaire Jaime Zobel de Ayala and his family – accelerates the launch of residential projects to meet surging housing demand. Before she was appointed CEO, the Harvard MBA alumni oversaw many of the firm’s luxury housing projects as chief operating officer and head of its residential business group,” Forbes said.

The five Filipinas join a roster of esteemed females from the region including Australian pop icon Kylie Minogue.

“The women of the third annual 50 Over 50: Asia list hail from 14 countries and territories and more than two dozen sectors of work. Their influence spans fashion, pharma, finance and beyond – and they are doing so at 54, 68 and even 112,” Forbes also said.

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