Staff Reporters
Jun 7, 2012

Women to Watch in Asia-Pacific marketing

While a number of countries in the region have been slow to welcome women to the top tier of the workforce, there is no shortage of female marketing professionals who have demonstrated both ambition and ability. Here, Campaign presents a selection of women who stand out for their achievements so far—and their potential to go further. In addition, we present words of wisdom from a few who have already reached the top of their game.

Nayantara Bali<br>VP Asia, male grooming, P&G<br><br>
Having joined P&G India in 1988, Bali has worked her way up through a broad range of categories to lead iconic brands such as Gillette and Old Spice.<br><br>
A graduate in economics from Madras University, Bali is widely recognised as a marketing expert and has judged for and contributed insights to high profile regional marketing forums like the Festival of Asian Marketing Effectiveness and Spikes Asia.<br><br>
As an astute female marketer, Bali’s approach has helped change male consumer behaviour in India. She is noted for having led Gillette’s award-winning ‘Women Against Lazy Stubble’ (WALS) movement, which drew on female preferences to provoke reluctant men into taking better care of their appearance.<br><br>
Chris Thomas, chairman and CEO of BBDO AMEA and chairman of Proximity Worldwide, describes her as exercising  bold thinking backed by strong discipline. “She creates an environment among her teams that nurtures talent and great work,” he says.

Nayantara Bali
VP Asia, male grooming, P&G

Having joined P&G India in 1988, Bali has worked her way up through a broad range of categories to lead iconic brands such as Gillette and Old Spice.

A graduate in economics from Madras University, Bali is widely recognised as a marketing expert and has judged for and contributed insights to high profile regional marketing forums like the Festival of Asian Marketing Effectiveness and Spikes Asia.

As an astute female marketer, Bali’s approach has helped change male consumer behaviour in India. She is noted for having led Gillette’s award-winning ‘Women Against Lazy Stubble’ (WALS) movement, which drew on female preferences to provoke reluctant men into taking better care of their appearance.

Chris Thomas, chairman and CEO of BBDO AMEA and chairman of Proximity Worldwide, describes her as exercising bold thinking backed by strong discipline. “She creates an environment among her teams that nurtures talent and great work,” he says.

Valerie Cheng<br>
ECD, JWT Singapore<br><br> 
A rare example of female creative talent with a strong grounding in digital, Valerie Cheng shows no sign of slowing down. In 2010 she was named the first female chairperson in the history of the Creative Circle Awards and last year was recognised as the digital creative director of the year by the Institute of Advertising Singapore (IAS). Most recently, she led the development of KitKat’s Social Break widget, designed to help anxious Singaporeans manage their social media ‘commitments’. <br><br>
Despite her host of awards, Cheng says her career highlights have been when a local campaign goes global. A challenge is making sure her voice is heard. “It’s not so much trying to be a man but actually trying to put your point across all the time,” she says. Cheng admits that to make it to the top, women have to be prepared to make some sacrifices in their personal lives. “In order to balance the sacrifices you really have to love what you do,” she says.

Valerie Cheng
ECD, JWT Singapore

A rare example of female creative talent with a strong grounding in digital, Valerie Cheng shows no sign of slowing down. In 2010 she was named the first female chairperson in the history of the Creative Circle Awards and last year was recognised as the digital creative director of the year by the Institute of Advertising Singapore (IAS). Most recently, she led the development of KitKat’s Social Break widget, designed to help anxious Singaporeans manage their social media ‘commitments’.

Despite her host of awards, Cheng says her career highlights have been when a local campaign goes global. A challenge is making sure her voice is heard. “It’s not so much trying to be a man but actually trying to put your point across all the time,” she says. Cheng admits that to make it to the top, women have to be prepared to make some sacrifices in their personal lives. “In order to balance the sacrifices you really have to love what you do,” she says.

Wendy Lim<br>GM marketing, APAC, Europe and America, ANZ<br><br>
Wendy Lim has proven herself not only in the world of marketing, but also of finance. A career banker since graduating from Indiana University, Lim gained extensive experience in banking at Citibank, HSBC and RBS before moving into her current role at ANZ (which acquired RBS). 
Lim is currently managing director of retail banking and wealth management for Asia-Pacific in addition to her role as marketing GM, giving her understanding of the business uncommon depth.<br><br>Under her leadership, ANZ launched the Signature Priority Banking programme, a personalised and relationship-based banking and wealth management service specifically for affluent customers in Asia-Pacific, which is now offered in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan and Vietnam.<br><br>
Lim also changed the bank’s marketing message amid the financial crisis as one that aims to get back to the basics of personal banking and treat customers as individuals.

Wendy Lim
GM marketing, APAC, Europe and America, ANZ

Wendy Lim has proven herself not only in the world of marketing, but also of finance. A career banker since graduating from Indiana University, Lim gained extensive experience in banking at Citibank, HSBC and RBS before moving into her current role at ANZ (which acquired RBS). Lim is currently managing director of retail banking and wealth management for Asia-Pacific in addition to her role as marketing GM, giving her understanding of the business uncommon depth.

Under her leadership, ANZ launched the Signature Priority Banking programme, a personalised and relationship-based banking and wealth management service specifically for affluent customers in Asia-Pacific, which is now offered in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Lim also changed the bank’s marketing message amid the financial crisis as one that aims to get back to the basics of personal banking and treat customers as individuals.

Yoko Saito<br>GM at Frontage Asia<br><br>
It is still unusual for a woman to hold a senior position at a Japanese company, but Frontage, a subsidiary of Dentsu, saw potential in Yoko Saito. Last year, she was appointed GM for Asia as the company branched out into Singapore to build its footprint in the region.<br><br>
Saito first joined Frontage Asia in 2005 but she later left to join the publisher istyle as the head of president’s office and communications planning, to manage Japan’s largest cosmetic review website @cosme. She began her career at Accenture.<br><br>
Representative of the sort of energetic, open-minded leaders Japanese companies need to succeed in overseas markets, Saito says her aim is to develop a new style of agency based on a combination Japanese and local market qualities. She says synchronising individuals’ cultural characteristics with a strong common vision is “the most important and exciting” aspect of her work.

Yoko Saito
GM at Frontage Asia

It is still unusual for a woman to hold a senior position at a Japanese company, but Frontage, a subsidiary of Dentsu, saw potential in Yoko Saito. Last year, she was appointed GM for Asia as the company branched out into Singapore to build its footprint in the region.

Saito first joined Frontage Asia in 2005 but she later left to join the publisher istyle as the head of president’s office and communications planning, to manage Japan’s largest cosmetic review website @cosme. She began her career at Accenture.

Representative of the sort of energetic, open-minded leaders Japanese companies need to succeed in overseas markets, Saito says her aim is to develop a new style of agency based on a combination Japanese and local market qualities. She says synchronising individuals’ cultural characteristics with a strong common vision is “the most important and exciting” aspect of her work.

Yoo-shin Lee<br>Creative director, Cheil Worldwide<br><br>
Having started out as a humble copywriter, Yoo-shin Lee has helped put Korea on the global creative map. She has judged at Cannes, and conversely inspired juries with initiatives such as the much talked about ‘Virtual Subway Store’ for Tesco Homeplus. Another, less internationally well known but equally important, campaign led by Lee is ‘The story of Hoony’s family’ for Samsung. It was among the first in Korea to make interactive media a major feature of a corporate campaign and continues to evolve since its debut three years ago.<br><br>
Lee is clear in her philosophy towards work. “Advertising is succinct storytelling that can and should move people’s hearts. So I do my best to create the best possible story. I hope that my work not only benefits my clients, but also the world.”

Yoo-shin Lee
Creative director, Cheil Worldwide

Having started out as a humble copywriter, Yoo-shin Lee has helped put Korea on the global creative map. She has judged at Cannes, and conversely inspired juries with initiatives such as the much talked about ‘Virtual Subway Store’ for Tesco Homeplus. Another, less internationally well known but equally important, campaign led by Lee is ‘The story of Hoony’s family’ for Samsung. It was among the first in Korea to make interactive media a major feature of a corporate campaign and continues to evolve since its debut three years ago.

Lee is clear in her philosophy towards work. “Advertising is succinct storytelling that can and should move people’s hearts. So I do my best to create the best possible story. I hope that my work not only benefits my clients, but also the world.”

Jing Pan<br>
Vice President, Marketing/PR/Strategic Development
AdChina<br><br>
Rising from intern to VP in a space of five years was no fluke for Jing Pan. She says her aim has always been to build products that improve the way people communicate and do business. She made career decisions accordingly along the way, turning down offers from from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and ebay while pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School. Eventually she landed at AdChina as the company’s fourth employee, building up a 90-strong team of media planners and creatives.<br><br>
She later focused her efforts on developing and selling AdChina’s demand-side platform and achieved adoption by several 4A agencies within the first year of launch. An evangelist of technology-driven internet advertising, she spoke at the United Nation’s 6th Internet Governance Forum (IGF). <br><br>
What she enjoys the most about her work is the exposure to a wide range of people in the industry at home and abroad, from top executives to on-the-ground people. Such exposure allows her to see the big picture, understand unsolved needs in the industry, and stay practical when bringing products to market. The shortage of female role models in her industry makes her achievements so far even more impressive.<br><br>
Her next aspiration is to build an internet product that can achieve the same status as Google AdSense, that can bring tremendous value to marketers, and that can enable highly-scalable business models. Especially passionate about entrepreneurship in under-privileged communities, philanthropy among young professionals, and rescue of homeless animals, Pan is every bit the technological elite with a sense of responsibility.

Jing Pan
Vice President, Marketing/PR/Strategic Development AdChina

Rising from intern to VP in a space of five years was no fluke for Jing Pan. She says her aim has always been to build products that improve the way people communicate and do business. She made career decisions accordingly along the way, turning down offers from from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and ebay while pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School. Eventually she landed at AdChina as the company’s fourth employee, building up a 90-strong team of media planners and creatives.

She later focused her efforts on developing and selling AdChina’s demand-side platform and achieved adoption by several 4A agencies within the first year of launch. An evangelist of technology-driven internet advertising, she spoke at the United Nation’s 6th Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

What she enjoys the most about her work is the exposure to a wide range of people in the industry at home and abroad, from top executives to on-the-ground people. Such exposure allows her to see the big picture, understand unsolved needs in the industry, and stay practical when bringing products to market. The shortage of female role models in her industry makes her achievements so far even more impressive.

Her next aspiration is to build an internet product that can achieve the same status as Google AdSense, that can bring tremendous value to marketers, and that can enable highly-scalable business models. Especially passionate about entrepreneurship in under-privileged communities, philanthropy among young professionals, and rescue of homeless animals, Pan is every bit the technological elite with a sense of responsibility.

Fanny Yum<br>MD of Lowe China<br><br>
Originally from Hong Kong, Fanny Yum has spent the bulk of her career in mainland China and is credited with propelling Lowe Beijing to become a force to be reckoned with since she joined as GM in 2010. She was promoted to a newly created MD role this year, to lead the overall business development and office management of its operations in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. <br><br>
Persistency is a key personality trait in Yum. “The ad industry today is very different and much tougher than in 70s and 80s,” she notes. “Clients are more demanding and the margin is thinner, hence one must really have passion.”
The book that inspires Yum most is ‘The 10,000-Hour Rule’, claiming that the key to success in any field is a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours, “which I believe in to every success, there’s no short cut.” <br><br>
 Yum’s ultimate hope is to produce at least one globally classic and memorable campaign such as Coca-Cola’s ‘I want to teach the world to sing’.

Fanny Yum
MD of Lowe China

Originally from Hong Kong, Fanny Yum has spent the bulk of her career in mainland China and is credited with propelling Lowe Beijing to become a force to be reckoned with since she joined as GM in 2010. She was promoted to a newly created MD role this year, to lead the overall business development and office management of its operations in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Persistency is a key personality trait in Yum. “The ad industry today is very different and much tougher than in 70s and 80s,” she notes. “Clients are more demanding and the margin is thinner, hence one must really have passion.” The book that inspires Yum most is ‘The 10,000-Hour Rule’, claiming that the key to success in any field is a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours, “which I believe in to every success, there’s no short cut.”

Yum’s ultimate hope is to produce at least one globally classic and memorable campaign such as Coca-Cola’s ‘I want to teach the world to sing’.

Malvika Mehra<br>National creative director, Grey India<br><br>
Having been picked up by an Ogilvy scout while still a student at art school, Malvika Mehra thought she would be a lifer at the agency. Under the guidance of Indian advertising legend Piyush Pandey, she was responsible for standout work for the likes of the State Bank of India and ITC Foods. The decision to join Grey was prompted by global creative head Tim Mellors, who convinced her to step out of her comfort zone. Grey was not the most creatively acclaimed agency when she joined two years ago, but she aims to change that.<br><br> She sees one of the biggest achievements of her life as having helped land the Reliance Telecom account for the agency. In terms of work, she says she has learned to follow her gut. “I’m not a big believer in research. You know when you have a good idea — it’s instinctive. You have to compete with yourself more than with anyone else.”

Malvika Mehra
National creative director, Grey India

Having been picked up by an Ogilvy scout while still a student at art school, Malvika Mehra thought she would be a lifer at the agency. Under the guidance of Indian advertising legend Piyush Pandey, she was responsible for standout work for the likes of the State Bank of India and ITC Foods. The decision to join Grey was prompted by global creative head Tim Mellors, who convinced her to step out of her comfort zone. Grey was not the most creatively acclaimed agency when she joined two years ago, but she aims to change that.

She sees one of the biggest achievements of her life as having helped land the Reliance Telecom account for the agency. In terms of work, she says she has learned to follow her gut. “I’m not a big believer in research. You know when you have a good idea — it’s instinctive. You have to compete with yourself more than with anyone else.”

Melissa Bell<br> 
Marketing Director, VICo - Volkswagen Imported Car<br><br>
As marketing director for Volkswagen Import, Melissa Bell’s achievements have been impressive by any measure. 
She is credited with recently launching 12 products for the already high popular brand Volkswagen.
<br><br>
With more than 15 years’ experience in Australia and Greater China, Bell has crossed paths with many companies, including Land Rover, Ford, Courvoisier, Pernod Ricard, Virgin Atlantic and Microsoft. Over the past six years she held two senior agency-side roles before being lured back to the client side. During her tenure as GM of Wunderman, she increased revenue by 300%. As marketing director of Shanghai Volkswagen, she led a team of 80, managed a budget in excess of US$175 million, and achieved sales of 450,000 units. She is looking forward to more marketing innovation with the launch of the VW Beetle later this year. When she gets a spare second she likes to travel.

Melissa Bell
Marketing Director, VICo - Volkswagen Imported Car

As marketing director for Volkswagen Import, Melissa Bell’s achievements have been impressive by any measure. She is credited with recently launching 12 products for the already high popular brand Volkswagen.

With more than 15 years’ experience in Australia and Greater China, Bell has crossed paths with many companies, including Land Rover, Ford, Courvoisier, Pernod Ricard, Virgin Atlantic and Microsoft. Over the past six years she held two senior agency-side roles before being lured back to the client side. During her tenure as GM of Wunderman, she increased revenue by 300%. As marketing director of Shanghai Volkswagen, she led a team of 80, managed a budget in excess of US$175 million, and achieved sales of 450,000 units. She is looking forward to more marketing innovation with the launch of the VW Beetle later this year. When she gets a spare second she likes to travel.

Merlee Jayme<br>Owner DM9 Jayme Syfu (Manila) <br><br>
Jayme says the best part of her career was when, after 14 years in big network agencies, she “finally had the balls” to create her own agency. “With my own rules, my good friends and clients we actually choose.” Always relishing a challenge, she says every difficult brief that lands on her table is a source of enjoyment for her. “I love thinking of new ways of doing work, digging fresh insights and seeing how consumers react to these ideas,” she says. “Of course, winning for the work is utter bliss.” And DM9 Jayme Syfu has won a host of awards across Adfest, Spikes Asia and Cannes.<br><br>She says the biggest challenge she faces is sustaining the energy of agency people. “Currently, I’m trying to think of a solution that would give more young people a chance to train with us and at the same time help us with our load,” she says.

Merlee Jayme
Owner DM9 Jayme Syfu (Manila)

Jayme says the best part of her career was when, after 14 years in big network agencies, she “finally had the balls” to create her own agency. “With my own rules, my good friends and clients we actually choose.” Always relishing a challenge, she says every difficult brief that lands on her table is a source of enjoyment for her. “I love thinking of new ways of doing work, digging fresh insights and seeing how consumers react to these ideas,” she says. “Of course, winning for the work is utter bliss.” And DM9 Jayme Syfu has won a host of awards across Adfest, Spikes Asia and Cannes.

She says the biggest challenge she faces is sustaining the energy of agency people. “Currently, I’m trying to think of a solution that would give more young people a chance to train with us and at the same time help us with our load,” she says.

Sadia Qutubuddin<br>ECD Ogilvy Pakistan<br><br>
In a nascent advertising market, Sadia Qutubuddin considers herself both a teacher and a student. She began her career at JWT as an art director and, now at Ogilvy, teaches at the art school she graduated from and at a business school in Karachi. Her aim is to instill creativity in the brand managers of the future.<br><br>
As a female creative, she is far from unique in Pakistan, but what sets her apart is her drive to move the industry forward. She is dissatisfied with the slew of ‘slice of life’ work the industry has churned out in recent years over “something more intelligent”. But she is optimistic that things will pick up. Receptivity to new ideas has been heightened by the uptake of digital and mobile media, she says. “People are asking for a lot more than we’re showing them. It’s brands and agencies that are lagging behind.”

Sadia Qutubuddin
ECD Ogilvy Pakistan

In a nascent advertising market, Sadia Qutubuddin considers herself both a teacher and a student. She began her career at JWT as an art director and, now at Ogilvy, teaches at the art school she graduated from and at a business school in Karachi. Her aim is to instill creativity in the brand managers of the future.

As a female creative, she is far from unique in Pakistan, but what sets her apart is her drive to move the industry forward. She is dissatisfied with the slew of ‘slice of life’ work the industry has churned out in recent years over “something more intelligent”. But she is optimistic that things will pick up. Receptivity to new ideas has been heightened by the uptake of digital and mobile media, she says. “People are asking for a lot more than we’re showing them. It’s brands and agencies that are lagging behind.”

Katryna Mojica<br>Country head, Ogilvy & Mather Indonesia<br><br>A native Filipino, Mojica has made notable achievements aboard. After seven years as group director for Ogilvy & Mather Philippines, she took on the challenge of leaving for Vietnam where she rose from client service director in 2003 to general manager.<br><br>“I went through a lot of ‘firsts ’in Vietnam. First time as a managing director/country lead, first time managing an acquisition, first time managing PR and digital businesses,” said Mojica. “It was also hugely rewarding to see Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam grow and became a clear leader in the market. From an agency that was based on
Her track record in Vietnam prompted Ogilvy to offer her the opportunity to lead and transform their Indonesian business. After this, Mojica jokes, it may be time to start making her way through the BRICs. “Brazil seems to be doing very interesting things and they seem to know how to have fun doing it.”" />

Katryna Mojica
Country head, Ogilvy & Mather Indonesia

A native Filipino, Mojica has made notable achievements aboard. After seven years as group director for Ogilvy & Mather Philippines, she took on the challenge of leaving for Vietnam where she rose from client service director in 2003 to general manager.

“I went through a lot of ‘firsts ’in Vietnam. First time as a managing director/country lead, first time managing an acquisition, first time managing PR and digital businesses,” said Mojica. “It was also hugely rewarding to see Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam grow and became a clear leader in the market. From an agency that was based on "inherited" global clients, we were able to generate a large base of local clients and maintained long-term relationships with them.”

Her track record in Vietnam prompted Ogilvy to offer her the opportunity to lead and transform their Indonesian business. After this, Mojica jokes, it may be time to start making her way through the BRICs. “Brazil seems to be doing very interesting things and they seem to know how to have fun doing it.”

Lisa Hezila<br>Group GM Y&R Malaysia<br><br>After six years client-side, five of which she spent as head of marketing communications and sponsorship for the Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship Grand Prix, Hezila joined Paragon Y&R in October 2004. During her tenure, she brought in leading clients such as Maybank, Astro, Petronas and others, setting up PYR to the local and Malay specialist in Malaysia, catering to local brands. In 2010 she was promoted to her current role with Y&R. <br><br>What drives Hezila is “thinking big”. “Big ideas, big thinking, big soul, big passion and big adrenaline... It is an amazing feeling when you see the teams having so much fun and building a strong camaraderie despite tight deadlines, disagreements or even faced with tons of work,” she says, describing talent building as both her greatest triumph and continuing challenge.

Lisa Hezila
Group GM Y&R Malaysia

After six years client-side, five of which she spent as head of marketing communications and sponsorship for the Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship Grand Prix, Hezila joined Paragon Y&R in October 2004. During her tenure, she brought in leading clients such as Maybank, Astro, Petronas and others, setting up PYR to the local and Malay specialist in Malaysia, catering to local brands. In 2010 she was promoted to her current role with Y&R.

What drives Hezila is “thinking big”. “Big ideas, big thinking, big soul, big passion and big adrenaline... It is an amazing feeling when you see the teams having so much fun and building a strong camaraderie despite tight deadlines, disagreements or even faced with tons of work,” she says, describing talent building as both her greatest triumph and continuing challenge.

Audrey Kuah<br>Country head at Aegis Media Singapore<br><br>Of her past career achievements, Kuah is proudest of her successful turnaround of Maxus Singapore, helping to establish Mediacom’s presence across Asia-Pacific. As general manager at Maxus Singapore, Kuah “transformed a failing company into one of Singapore’s leading media agencies with a high-performing team and an enviable client roster”.<br><br>She transferred to Mediacom when it was awarded the Nokia Asia-Pacific account in 2006 and over the course of four years, with Mediacom, she “contributed to the wider regional network through leading new business initiatives as well as improving the strategic planning skills across the network’s offices.” In her current role with Aegis, Kuah is tasked with leading the development of talent, product and clients across the Aegis Group of companies in Singapore.<br><br>Kuah, who seems to always be in a hurry, appears to get her kicks out of the more adrenaline pumping aspects of advertising. “What I really enjoy in this industry is cracking a brief, when a client appreciates our work and when a dynamic team in place,” she says.

Audrey Kuah
Country head at Aegis Media Singapore

Of her past career achievements, Kuah is proudest of her successful turnaround of Maxus Singapore, helping to establish Mediacom’s presence across Asia-Pacific. As general manager at Maxus Singapore, Kuah “transformed a failing company into one of Singapore’s leading media agencies with a high-performing team and an enviable client roster”.

She transferred to Mediacom when it was awarded the Nokia Asia-Pacific account in 2006 and over the course of four years, with Mediacom, she “contributed to the wider regional network through leading new business initiatives as well as improving the strategic planning skills across the network’s offices.” In her current role with Aegis, Kuah is tasked with leading the development of talent, product and clients across the Aegis Group of companies in Singapore.

Kuah, who seems to always be in a hurry, appears to get her kicks out of the more adrenaline pumping aspects of advertising. “What I really enjoy in this industry is cracking a brief, when a client appreciates our work and when a dynamic team in place,” she says.

Carol Potter<br>CEO, BBDO China<br><br>“I feel lucky enough to have been presented with as many opportunities as challenges in my career, and grateful for having had the courage to take them on. Early in my career I felt I struggled to get myself heard in a very male-dominated workplace. I read books and educated myself on the differences on how men and women communicate and it transformed my working life. The biggest challenge for me over the years, like for so many working mothers, has been feeling continuously guilty that I was either being a bad mother or a bad colleague. So many women suffer from a lack of inner confidence and whilst men tend to exaggerate their ability women can often underestimate and down-play theirs. My best advice to any woman is summed up in the words of a former female UK Attorney General: 'You are the arbiter of your own good fortune; appreciate your talent and identify what makes you truly happy; never depreciate or undermine your own talent - this is your gift’.”

Carol Potter
CEO, BBDO China

“I feel lucky enough to have been presented with as many opportunities as challenges in my career, and grateful for having had the courage to take them on. Early in my career I felt I struggled to get myself heard in a very male-dominated workplace. I read books and educated myself on the differences on how men and women communicate and it transformed my working life. The biggest challenge for me over the years, like for so many working mothers, has been feeling continuously guilty that I was either being a bad mother or a bad colleague. So many women suffer from a lack of inner confidence and whilst men tend to exaggerate their ability women can often underestimate and down-play theirs. My best advice to any woman is summed up in the words of a former female UK Attorney General: 'You are the arbiter of your own good fortune; appreciate your talent and identify what makes you truly happy; never depreciate or undermine your own talent - this is your gift’.”

You Mi Cho<br>MD Leo Burnett & ARC Worldwide Korea<br><br>Cho was promoted from GM to managing of Leo Burnett Korea in January, taking over from Dong Wook Kim. The appointment made Cho the first female president among the heads of the country’s top advertising companies. She joined Leo Burnett in 2002, having led the Phillip Morris, Diageo and McDonald’s accounts.<br><br>Cho describes the highlight of her career as the people she works with. She is grateful for having been accepted into the industry as “an ordinary woman, a mother of two children, without any experience” in the advertising business. The leap of faith on the part of her superiours paid off, and Cho went on to become the first ever female agency MD in Korea. She is also a member of Leo Burnett worldwide global shopper marketing leadership and a member of regional digital marketing leadership.

You Mi Cho
MD Leo Burnett & ARC Worldwide Korea

Cho was promoted from GM to managing of Leo Burnett Korea in January, taking over from Dong Wook Kim. The appointment made Cho the first female president among the heads of the country’s top advertising companies. She joined Leo Burnett in 2002, having led the Phillip Morris, Diageo and McDonald’s accounts.

Cho describes the highlight of her career as the people she works with. She is grateful for having been accepted into the industry as “an ordinary woman, a mother of two children, without any experience” in the advertising business. The leap of faith on the part of her superiours paid off, and Cho went on to become the first ever female agency MD in Korea. She is also a member of Leo Burnett worldwide global shopper marketing leadership and a member of regional digital marketing leadership.

Chris Tang<br>MD, The Hoffman Agency Asia-Pacific<br><br>PR might be an industry with a high female to male ratio, but there are still relatively few women leading the charge in the agency world in Asia. Chris Tang is something of an exception. Having entered PR in China when it was still a virtually unknown concept, she is now responsible for Hoffman’s operations in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore.<br><br>Tang made her debut in PR 18 years ago with The Peninsular Group, which she says forced her to learn diverse areas of the business quickly. She went on to found Elite PR, another sharp learning curve that gave her a solid understanding of the tech industry — and empty pockets. Tang recalls being caught short in a supermarket and having to return a packet of crackers to the shelf, having invested every penny she had into the business. Things have arguably paid off since then. Elite was acquired by Text100 and Hoffman allows her to maintain her entrepreneurial spirit, with considerably more security.

Chris Tang
MD, The Hoffman Agency Asia-Pacific

PR might be an industry with a high female to male ratio, but there are still relatively few women leading the charge in the agency world in Asia. Chris Tang is something of an exception. Having entered PR in China when it was still a virtually unknown concept, she is now responsible for Hoffman’s operations in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore.

Tang made her debut in PR 18 years ago with The Peninsular Group, which she says forced her to learn diverse areas of the business quickly. She went on to found Elite PR, another sharp learning curve that gave her a solid understanding of the tech industry — and empty pockets. Tang recalls being caught short in a supermarket and having to return a packet of crackers to the shelf, having invested every penny she had into the business. Things have arguably paid off since then. Elite was acquired by Text100 and Hoffman allows her to maintain her entrepreneurial spirit, with considerably more security.

Donna Li<br>GM of strategic marketing & media planning, Renren<br><br>Prior to joining RenRen, Li notched up solid experience ranging from search to e-commerce, serving both Fortune 500 brands and local Chinese enterprises.<br><br>Born in China at the start of the cultural revolution, she holds an EMBA from CEIBS and was trained in international business management at The Wharton School. Describing herself as always running on high-tide mode, she says the rapid evolvement of the internet industry in China is challenging but never boring. Despite being driven in her approach to work, there is nothing of the power-hungry business magnate in her. She makes an effort to lead a balanced life, sleeping nine hours rather than five, travelling and writing blogs to encourage common people to live happier lives. Motivated by how to turn ‘impossibles’ into ‘possibles’, the curious scorpio has been married for 23 years to a man working in the Chinese government sector.

Donna Li
GM of strategic marketing & media planning, Renren

Prior to joining RenRen, Li notched up solid experience ranging from search to e-commerce, serving both Fortune 500 brands and local Chinese enterprises.

Born in China at the start of the cultural revolution, she holds an EMBA from CEIBS and was trained in international business management at The Wharton School. Describing herself as always running on high-tide mode, she says the rapid evolvement of the internet industry in China is challenging but never boring. Despite being driven in her approach to work, there is nothing of the power-hungry business magnate in her. She makes an effort to lead a balanced life, sleeping nine hours rather than five, travelling and writing blogs to encourage common people to live happier lives. Motivated by how to turn ‘impossibles’ into ‘possibles’, the curious scorpio has been married for 23 years to a man working in the Chinese government sector.

Melanie Lo<br>Mindshare<br><br>Over the course of 23-years in the industry, Lo has only changed companies once — from JWT to Mindshare. She has played a key role in Mindshare Hong Kong’s development, having helped grow the agency from 30 employees to 100. That loyalty was recently rewarded with the promotion to chief executive. When she succeeds KK Tsang in August, she will become the first woman to take on the role at the agency in Hong Kong.<br><br>She maintains that, more than financial considerations, “passion and sense of achievement come first”, which speaks well of Mindshare’s culture. “If the environment remains exciting and offers new challenges, I am fine to grow where I am,” she says. Lo acknowledges that it can be difficult for women to move to new markets, should opportunities arise, due to family considerations, and advises younger professionals to avoid the temptation to switch jobs for short term gain, focusing instead on the bigger career picture.

Melanie Lo
Mindshare

Over the course of 23-years in the industry, Lo has only changed companies once — from JWT to Mindshare. She has played a key role in Mindshare Hong Kong’s development, having helped grow the agency from 30 employees to 100. That loyalty was recently rewarded with the promotion to chief executive. When she succeeds KK Tsang in August, she will become the first woman to take on the role at the agency in Hong Kong.

She maintains that, more than financial considerations, “passion and sense of achievement come first”, which speaks well of Mindshare’s culture. “If the environment remains exciting and offers new challenges, I am fine to grow where I am,” she says. Lo acknowledges that it can be difficult for women to move to new markets, should opportunities arise, due to family considerations, and advises younger professionals to avoid the temptation to switch jobs for short term gain, focusing instead on the bigger career picture.

Iris Lo<br>MD and ECD, Draftfcb Hong Kong<br><br>With her dual creative-administrative role, Lo is a rare breed in Hong Kong. Her work has won top honours at Cannes, and she was recently appointed chairman of the Hong Kong Effie Awards for 2012.<br><br>The former Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai staffer is and is noted for her work for Just Gold, Solvil et Titus, Hong Kong Telecom and New World Mobility and Elements Mall. She is keen to challenge the conservatism of many advertisers in her hometown, constantly seeking a challenge.<br><br>“I hate things that are too stable as they are just no fun,” she says simply. In her first year at Draft, she led the agency to win six out of seven competitive pitches. But she admits that success in the industry does not come easily. For young women looking to enter advertising, she underscores the importance of flexibility as well as personal charm, which she says will always be a big asset. Her biggest challenge is striking a balance between her work and private life.

Iris Lo
MD and ECD, Draftfcb Hong Kong

With her dual creative-administrative role, Lo is a rare breed in Hong Kong. Her work has won top honours at Cannes, and she was recently appointed chairman of the Hong Kong Effie Awards for 2012.

The former Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai staffer is and is noted for her work for Just Gold, Solvil et Titus, Hong Kong Telecom and New World Mobility and Elements Mall. She is keen to challenge the conservatism of many advertisers in her hometown, constantly seeking a challenge.

“I hate things that are too stable as they are just no fun,” she says simply. In her first year at Draft, she led the agency to win six out of seven competitive pitches. But she admits that success in the industry does not come easily. For young women looking to enter advertising, she underscores the importance of flexibility as well as personal charm, which she says will always be a big asset. Her biggest challenge is striking a balance between her work and private life.

Nayantara Bali<br>VP Asia, ...
Leanne Cutts<br>VP ...
Valerie Cheng<br>
ECD, JWT ...
Wendy Lim<br>GM marketing, ...
Yoko Saito<br>GM at ...
Yoo-shin Lee<br>Creative ...
Jing Pan<br>
Vice ...
Fanny Yum<br>MD of Lowe ...
Imogen Hewitt<br>
Managing ...
Malvika Mehra<br>National ...
Melissa Bell<br> 
Marketing...
Merlee Jayme<br>Owner DM9 ...
Sadia Qutubuddin<br>ECD ...
Stephanie Bell<br>Regional ...
Katryna Mojica<br>Country ...
Lisa Hezila<br>Group GM ...
Audrey Kuah<br>Country ...
Carol Potter<br>CEO, BBDO ...
You Mi Cho<br>MD Leo ...
Chris Tang<br>MD, The ...
Donna Li<br>GM of ...
Melanie Lo<br>Mindshare<br>...
Iris Lo<br>MD and ECD, ...

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