Meet BAZAAR’s league of extraordinary women. Singapore visionaries under 40, they are paving the way in the tech and digital spheres and proving that the future is not only female, the future is now.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Meet BAZAAR’s league of extraordinary women. Singapore visionaries under 40, they are paving the way in the tech and digital spheres and proving that the future is not only female, the future is now.

Knitted turtleneck, Hermès. Tuxedo jacket; palazzo trousers, Max Mara. Pumps, Alexander McQueen. White gold, diamond and ruby Joséphine Aigrette necklace and ring; white gold and diamond Rondes de Nuit watch, Chaumet


Co-founder and Executive Director of the Singapore Space and Technology Association, 39

Propelling our little red dot light-years into the future, Tan is the female force behind Singapore’s introduction to the space game. Sharp, focused and energetic, the self-described “bundle of contradictions” shares common misconceptions about the space industry, and explains how a never-give-up attitude transformed a little organisation she founded 12 years ago—the Singapore Space and Technology Association (SSTA)—into the toast of international space agencies around the world today. 

What are some of the challenges you face in your role at the SSTA?

Generally, people do not consider Singapore to be a space hub, as it is land scarce and hence not the most viable place for rocket developments. But the truth is, the space industry also entails spacecraft—both large and small—as well as satellites, downstream applications and a whole range of other fields and disciplines. Space projects are complex and can span years before one sees results. It is an industry that requires talented people with grit and in this aspect, we are not lacking. Changing this perception has been challenging. 

Would you describe yourself as a risk-taker, a first mover or trend-spotter?

I would consider myself 70 percent trend-spotter; 30 percent risk-taker. I’m not a first-mover as I need time to observe and learn.

What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned in your journey so far?

That it will always seem impossible until it is done. When we started the Global Space & Technology Convention (GSTC) right here in Singapore, most people thought it was crazy and that it would fail. Right after the first show, our partners left us. That made us seriously doubt the viability of it. But thankfully, a handful of believers stood by us and today it is the premier space show in Asia and has become quite a household name in the space sector. If we had listened to the naysayers and given up, we wouldn’t be where we are today. 

Why aren’t there more women in science? 

I guess it must be because we are multi-talented and we have too many choices! Well, I do see more women now in the sciences. In fact, at the last GSTC, we had a panel of female speakers and—I stress—not by design. They were senior directors and vice presidents of rocket companies, such as Virgin Orbit, Spaceflight Industries, Exolaunch, and upcoming start-up, Firefly. I was very proud to see this all-women panel come together and really flattered when invited to moderate it. 

What would you like your legacy to be?

That I was part of the pioneering team giving Singaporeans a lift-off to our space dreams. When I am in my 70s, I hope to be considered part of a “pioneer generation” in my own way.

My Reading Room

Turtleneck, Yiping's own. White gold, emerald, onyx and diamond Panthère de Cartier necklace and rings; white gold and diamond Baignoire watch, Cartier


Partner at Quest Ventures, 37

Redefining venture capitalism with her determination, Goh shakes up the male-dominated ivory towers of private equity to transform struggling digital start-ups into viable business opportunities through sheer persistence and hard work. Humorous and self-aware, Goh describes how she’s evolved from a trend-spotter into someone more interested in crafting a legacy of impact. 

Three words to describe yourself. 

Courageous. Authentic. Fighter.

What drew you to the digital space? 

It’s all serendipity really. I was exposed to the tech space when I interned at a US startup. It was my first experience with tech companies and I became curious and instantly drawn to it. That exposure truly catalysed my whole tech journey and I have never looked back. 

Have you ever felt that being a woman made it challenging for you in your field?

Not really because I am wired to thrive on challenges. However, that’s not to say it is not challenging at all. There are still unconscious or conscious biases that can lead to less inclusiveness for women when “bros” invest together. In some limited partner networks where venture capitalists like us raise money, in the countries where, culturally, men make the decisions, I prefer to bring my male colleagues along.

Do you see yourself as a trend-spotter—being so ahead of the curve? What drives you? 

When I was younger, I was more of a trend-spotter—starting companies early, ahead of their time. Now, I think I’m more experienced, and more measured while still taking calculated risks. To create a legacy of impact on others is really what drives me; tackling new challenges, going on adventures with like-minded people motivates me. Most importantly, knowing that what I do will make my family, especially my children, proud as they look back and reflect on my life is really of the utmost importance to me.

Do you have an affinity for all things digital? Are you a techy person in real life?

I believe there’s a place and time where digital makes a lot of sense, but there’s also another place and time where non-digital makes sense. My husband is very techy so I outsource tech in my personal life to him. 

My Reading Room

Gabardine jackets, Louis Vuitton. (On Race) Platinum and diamond necklace; sunflower bracelet; ring; (on Rhonda) earrings; sunflower necklace, Harry Winston


Co-founders, COO (left) and CEO (right) of Ohmyhome, 36 and 33

The Wong sisters founded Ohmyhome, Singapore’s leading digital real-estate portal, in 2016 to allow the direct selling, buying and renting of houses without an agent—instantly changing the way properties are transacted. From business decisions to blood ties, the siblings share on motherhood, drive and what it’s like to work together. 

Describe yourself in three words. 

Race: Optimist. Creative. Hardworking.

Rhonda: Determined. Kind. Dreamer. 

How would you describe your partnership? 

Rhonda: Oh, it’s the best partnership! We are like two strong bodies of water that flow as one in this massive irregular container we call life—filling up all the gaps for each other. We love having each other around because we are both very honest. We love to brainstorm, solve problems and celebrate together.

Does working with family make things easier or harder?

Race: Rhonda and I have really good synergy, which we developed growing up as sisters. We know when to compromise, when to stand our ground and how to debate without harbouring any hard feelings. It is motivating to know that she’s charging through the storm with me. Even brainstorming together during our free time is enjoyable too. 

What experiences in your life has helped you achieve what you have so far?

Rhonda: Our parents have always been my inspiration. They had so much less as children, compared to us, and yet they have achieved so much. Throughout my growing years, I had the privilege of watching their hard work and good values pay off and participated in their work on weekends. So I was able to learn first-hand what it takes to really make it. 

What’s your take on work-life balance, especially since both of you are mothers?

Race: I believe in work-life harmony, not balance, because there can’t be a balance at this stage of our lives where work takes centre stage. I believe in time management and doing things with my heart. When I love my job, it brings joy to my life. I love being a wife and mother too. I find joy in every role I play, and hopefully play them all well.

My Reading Room

Dress, Dries Van Noten. Platinum and diamond Olympia necklace; platinum, diamond and ruby Eventails ring; white gold and diamond Foxtrot watch, Van Cleef & Arpels


Founder and CEO of theAsianparent, 36

Mahtani Cheung is the founder and CEO of theAsianparent, the largest mother and child platform across Southeast Asia with an extensive reach of 20 million monthly users. Her various online publications boast quality digital content for women, by women. Warm, honest and articulate, the tenacious technopreneur talks important life lessons and what it’s like to finally turn the tables. 

What in your background prepared you to be an entrepreneur?

My family going broke. When the Asian economic crisis hit, it hit us hard. I had to work odd jobs like handing out flyers at MRT stations and conducting surveys door-to-door, to support myself through school and help out with bills. I learned the value of money and hard work during that period; which totally upped my adversity quotient. 

Was switching from a publishing company to a media and tech company difficult for you? 

Early in my career, I was in media and journalism, so I wasn’t very techy. But I’ve found that thinking like an engineer has really helped me grow the company. That was a necessary shift both personally and in terms of the direction of the company, because digital media platforms just blew up. You couldn’t ignore an opportunity like that. It was exciting more than it was difficult. 

Have you ever felt that being a woman made it challenging for you in your field?

When I was starting out, absolutely. Tech was definitely not a woman’s game back then. I had meetings where senior executives awould direct their questions at my male junior employees instead of me. It wasn’t easy to ignore, but it did light a fire in me to turn the tables one day. I hope I sound more triumphant than vindictive; but that day is here. 

What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned in your journey so far?

Always read the fine print; keep your eyes on cash and profit no matter how dazzling your revenue may be; go hyper-local whenever you enter a new market. In a broader sense, take your time when you hire someone. The company is your second family, and your standards have to be very high when welcoming someone into it. The same goes for your whole ecosystem. It boils down to whom you can trust and who you want to grow with.  

My Reading Room

Knitted top, Elicia's own. Platinum and diamond Tiffany Victoria necklace; bow earrings; cluster bracelet and ring, Tiffany & Co. 

Makeup: Cheryl Ow using Parfums Christian Dior Hair: Sean Ang using OUAI Photography assistants: Eric Tan and Melvin Leong Styling assistants: Chandreyee Ray and Beverly Tan


Founder of GameStart Asia, 38

This is the woman who believed in gaming so much, she used her life savings to start up GameStart Asia in 2014. Since then, it has become the premier gaming event in Southeast Asia. Attributing her success to calculated risk-taking, Lee gives us an insight into the hunger and grit that has seen her forge a reputation as a first mover in the industry.  

How old were you when you first started gaming?

I was probably seven or eight when I played my first PC game, a super old DOS RPG called The Faery Tale Adventure, on my father’s PC. 

Was it hard convincing your family about your career?

My parents are open-minded and believe in letting me make my own decisions. They only became concerned when I set up my own business and was no longer on a big company’s payroll. The first year was tough, and they called me often to ask me to just find a job. But after they realised that I wasn’t going bankrupt, they relaxed. 

You left Electronic Arts (EA) to start up digital marketing agency Zombits, gaming organiser Eliphant, then GameStart. Tell us why.

Zombits was set up after I left EA because I couldn’t find a marketing agency that understood how to market games. Eliphant was set up because I decided to create a gaming event that I, as a gamer, would want to attend. We have tons of passionate gamers here, who don’t have the opportunity to travel to the big overseas events. I was also sick of people telling me that the gaming market in Singapore was a low priority, and in 2014, 12,000 gamers proved that we did have an active gaming community here. One thing led to another, and GameStart will have its sixth edition this year, as the largest and longest-running gaming event in Singapore. 

What experiences in life have helped you so far? 

I majored in psychology in school, and that allowed me to gain a level of self-awareness and an understanding of human cognition processes that have helped me tremendously in my career. I also worked in a wide variety of jobs before, which provided me the opportunity to interact with a wide demographic of people and to handle different situations. I worked in nightclubs, did research for government policies, worked in corporate branding, did PR for beach resorts and launched a hotel chain. I’ve really learned to use my voice and let my opinions be known.

Photographed by Darren Gabriel Leow.

Styled by Adriel Chiun