Her World award winners blazing trails internationally

Two Singaporean women who have been pushing the boundaries of innovation have received Her World magazine's annual top awards in recognition of outstanding women.

Ms Jessica Tan, co-chief executive and executive director at Chinese insurance company Ping An Group, was named Her World Woman of the Year 2021, while Ms Lin Fengru, CEO and co-founder of Singapore biotechnology firm TurtleTree, received the Her World Young Woman Achiever 2021 award.

Ms Ng Yi Lian, editor at Her World Singapore, a publication by Singapore Press Holdings, said the awards have often celebrated Singaporean women who have made local inputs.

"But this year, we recognise the importance of Jessica's and Fengru's international contributions as we're all global citizens."

Ms Tan, 44, was ranked second on Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Women International list among businesses outside the United States last year.

She embarked on a 13-year career at consulting firm McKinsey & Company after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a computer engineering degree.

She then joined Ping An as its group chief information officer and was behind numerous technology breakthroughs that boosted the company's growth, including a telehealth app offering free online medical consultations during the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak last year.

Ms Tan, who is married with two daughters, said: "I've dedicated the past 8½ years of my career working in China, with our teams at Ping An, to use financial services and technology to improve the lives of our 600 million customers."

Ms Lin, 33, a Singapore Management University graduate, co-founded TurtleTree with chief strategist Max Rye three years ago.

TurtleTree is now the first company to be able to produce both animal milk and human milk in their full composition through patented stem cell technology.

It raised US$3.2 million (S$4.3 million) in seed funding in June last year, and also received $1 million from the Temasek Foundation.

Ms Lin spends much of her time in Singapore, the United States and the United Arab Emirates, and enjoys cycling with her sister when she is back home.

She said she is a firm believer of "it's never about whether you can, but whether you want to".

Ms Ng said the two award recipients "make Singapore proud with their impact on millions of lives around the world".

"With Covid-19 still a prevalent global issue, we've come to realise... how the entire world is truly connected and that no matter where we come from, we have the ability to make a difference to the world as exemplified by both our winners," she added.

Since 1991, the annual Her World Woman of the Year award has paid tribute to outstanding women who have made breakthroughs in their industries and left an impact both locally and overseas.

The Her World Young Woman Achiever award was introduced in 1999 to recognise inspiring women aged 35 and below.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2021, with the headline 'Her World award winners blazing trails internationally'. Subscribe