The Peak's Power List: Honouring female game-changers

(From left) DBS group head of consumer banking and wealth management Tan Su Shan, Ogilvy Public Relations managing director Chong Ee Rong and WongPartnership joint managing partner Rachel Eng at the InterContinental Hotel yesterday.
(From left) DBS group head of consumer banking and wealth management Tan Su Shan, Ogilvy Public Relations managing director Chong Ee Rong and WongPartnership joint managing partner Rachel Eng at the InterContinental Hotel yesterday.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

PR professional, banker and lawyer among 10 women in luxury magazine's Power List

Ms Chong Ee Rong took a leap of faith when she made the switch from the banking and finance industry to public relations and communications 15 years ago.

But since becoming the managing director of Ogilvy Public Relations in 2013, she has doubled the size of the company's business and overseen successful publicity campaigns such as the Hawker Heroes Challenge, which pitted three Singaporean hawkers against Michelin- star chef Gordon Ramsay.

Ms Chong is one of the 10 women named in luxury lifestyle magazine The Peak's Power List.

Now in its second year, the list this time honours women who are game-changers in their industries.

"Although there is increasing gender equality in Singapore, women are still under-represented in top management positions. For this reason, we have dedicated the November issue and this year's Power List to the individuals who have made it to the upper echelons of corporate hierarchy," said Ms Jennifer Chen, editor of The Peak.

The selection process for the Power List began in March this year, in collaboration with representatives from the Singapore Institute of International Affairs and Mr Patrick Daniel, editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/ Tamil Media group.

When Ms Chong, 40, became managing director, she decided to break the mould so her colleaguesdid not have to put their careers on hold if they wanted to start a family.

"When I first joined, there weren't a lot of working mothers even in the female-dominated industry. But now we have created that kind of culture where we have become a more grown-up agency, with women with different experiences and perspectives on board."

Other women on the list include Ms Tan Su Shan, 47, DBS group head of consumer banking and wealth management, and Ms Rachel Eng, joint managing partner of law firm Wong Partnership.

Also named were former United Nations undersecretary-general Noeleen Heyzer and Singapore Health Services group chief executive Ivy Ng.

Ms Tan joined DBS in 2010 and led a transformation of its consumer banking and wealth management business. The bank now ranks among the top 10 players in Asia.

She credits DBS' performance to the fact that she is supported by a strong leadership team.

For her, there are no distinct differences between men and women in ability, execution and strategic thought.

"But sometimes, the style and priorities might be different. We might all want the same thing but the way we achieve it is a little different," she said. "Men might be more upfront, and women a little more subtle."

The banker, who has worked in London, Tokyo, Kuwait and China among other places, professes that she "has always loved the financial markets". "The best way for young professionals to carve out their career is simply to go out and do something you love."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2015, with the headline 'Honouring female game-changers'. Print Edition | Subscribe