S’pore’s Ho Ching & Jenny Lee Listed in 2023’s List of 100 Most Powerful Women


Singaporean Powerhouses Ho Ching & Jenny Lee Shine in Forbes’ 2023 Top 100 Women List

This week heralded the much-anticipated release of Forbes’ 2023 list of the 100 most powerful women.

Since its inception in 2004, Forbes, a renowned American business magazine, has annually published this list, highlighting the most influential women across the globe.

The list is meticulously compiled, considering various criteria such as visibility, economic impact, and, specifically for 2023, “money, media, impact and spheres of influence”, as per Forbes.

Women across different sectors, including:

  • politics & policy
  • media & entertainment
  • business, finance
  • philanthropy
  • technology
  • media & entertainment

are evaluated for inclusion.

Amongst these notable women, Singapore’s Ho Ching and Jenny Lee have made their mark in the “finance” sector.

Madam Ho Ching

Image: Tatler Asia

Madam Ho Ching, age 70, the chairman of Temasek Trust has consistently been featured on the list since 2004.

This year, she ascended to rank No. 33, a slight rise from her 2022 position, and on par with her 2021 ranking.

Having helmed the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek from 2004 to 2021, she played a pivotal role in growing its portfolio to over $313 billion.

Founded on 25 June 1974, Temasek boasts a net portfolio of US$287 billion (S$384 billion) as of 2023, having divested S$27 billion and invested S$31 billion during the year.

The growth of Temasek’s portfolio value since inception can be seen here.

Image: Temasek

Under Madam Ho’s leadership, Temasek expanded significantly, opening offices in San Francisco in 2018 and diversifying investments into life sciences, technology, and agribusiness.

Additionally, she is highly respected as the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who has been in office since 2004.

Her career journey began in 1976 as an engineer with Singapore’s Ministry of Defence.

Climbing the ranks, she joined Temasek Holdings in 2002, eventually becoming its executive director. And the rest is history.

Her highest-ever ranking on Forbes’ list was in 2005, securing the third spot.

Ms Jenny Lee

Image: GGV Capital

Joining Madam Ho Ching on the list is Ms Jenny Lee, managing partner of GGV Capital, a prominent global venture capital firm.

She currently holds the 97th position, a slight drop from her 78th place in 2022.

At 51, Ms Lee is a pioneering figure in her field, with a focus on ed-tech, robotics, and AI, as noted by Forbes.

She notably became the first woman to break into the top 10 of Forbes’ Midas List, an annual ranking of the most influential venture capital investors, in 2012.

Her diverse investment portfolio includes groundbreaking projects like China’s first flying taxi, eHang, and successful ventures like Kingsoft WPS.


In finance this year, she managed significant gains on GGV’s AUM, contributing to several IPOs and maintaining a strong presence in the industry.

In addition to her 97th place on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women list, she also ranks 58th on The Midas List this year, with notable figures like Sequoia China’s Neil Shen and Ribbit Capital’s Micky Malka also featured.

The Close Fight Between Powerful Women & “Woman”

The early months of 2023 saw a thinning in the ranks of the world’s most powerful women, according to Forbes.

Leaders like Sanna Marin, Jacinda Ardern, and Nicola Sturgeon stepped down from their roles in Finland, New Zealand, and Scotland, respectively.

As the year progressed, the narrative of female power gained momentum, with more women ascending to CEO positions and achieving billionaire status.

Dr Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, retained her position as the most powerful woman in 2023, a role she holds as the first woman, overseeing legislation affecting over 450 million Europeans.


Pop star Taylor Swift climbed the ranks significantly in 2023, securing No. 5 spot following her ascension to “billionaire” status gained during her “Eras” tour.

A unique addition to the list at 100th place is Barbie, the iconic doll, recognised for her role in the blockbuster film “Barbie” which grossed US$1.4 billion globally in 2023.

As a character who has had over 250 occupations, Forbes highlights her as a “cultural touchstone” and, in a way, a businesswoman in her own right.