The Financial Times’ annual Top 50 women in world business 2011 shows Asian women are moving up in the rankings.
A Forbes blog looked closer at some notable facts:
— Eighteen Asian women were featured on this year’s list, including Asian-American Andrea Jung, CEO of Avon Cosmetics.
— Women from China and India made up 20% of the list.
— Women from Singapore, with population of nearly 5 million, made up 6% of the list.
The blog also notes that the highest concentration of women in senior executive roles is in North America and that Asian countries still have a long way to go in terms of gender equality.
But we met some bright examples of Asian women who have defied cultural barriers and have proven to be successful entrepreneurs. One of them is Rose Yeong, who ran away from home in Malaysia at the age of 18, without any money in her pockets. She went to Singapore where she first worked as a waitress and soon after set up her own business selling shoes.
Being a woman in business clearly has made things more difficult for Rose particularly in an industry dominated by men. She paid for stock up front and it never came, suppliers tried to sell her shoddy products again and again and shoemakers boycotted her.
But Rose never gave up. After her husband left her with nothing in the bank, she brushed herself off and kept going. Today her shoe retail business is flourishing and she sells about 10,000 pairs of shoes a year.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in business?