Six Influential Malaysian Women Inspiring Malaysians Every Day!

By Ahmed Wafi, Nadia Syafiq and Farisha Adriana

Get to know these Malaysian wonder women.

International Women’s Day was a few weeks ago but every day is a reason to celebrate women and their everyday achievements. In fact, some of these women are responsible for making our lives easier, especially entry #1!

Tan Hooi Ling
If you’re not sure who Hooi Ling is, well she’s the reason you’re able to have GrabFood and other essentials delivered to you while you work from home. She’s the co-founder of GRAB, Southeast Asia's leading super app that offers users a wide range of on-demand services in the region.

The tech company effectively changed the game for mobility, food, package and grocery delivery services, mobile payments, and financial services – making all these services accessible while you lay on your couch. At just 37, the Harvard Business School alumni oversees critical pillars of GRAB’s operations, including corporate strategy, technology (product, design, engineering, data science and analytics), customer experience, and people operations.

Together with her co-founder & CEO Anthony Tan, the civil engineering graduate from the University of Bath, expanded the company across the region to empower millions. GRAB is also now playing an essential role to meet consumer needs during COVID-19 and rolling out its region-wide programme aimed at increasing vaccine access and education for all stakeholders on its platform.

Vivy Yusof
When you mention influential Malaysian women, Vivy Yusof comes to mind! At just 23, she co-founded FashionValet, Malaysia's leading omnichannel retailer in modest fashion with a 150-strong workforce.

Following the success of FashionValet, Vivy founded The dUCk Group, a premium modest fashion brand that redefines what it means to wear the hijab in today’s society. From influencer to entrepreneur, the London School of Economics graduate continues to redefine gender roles and empower women from all walks of life.

Ai Ching (Piktochart)
Another woman leader in tech on the list is Goh Ai Ching, CEO and co-founder of Piktochart, a visual communications app that offers users the ability to easily create professional-grade infographics using templates. Ching often credits her success to her team that inspires her to be the best she can be.

The humble young entrepreneur from Bayan Lepas, Penang, is a role model to aspiring women entrepreneurs. Having been a finalist for MIT’s Technology Review Magazine’s 35 Innovators under 35, her main focus is on the wellbeing of her people. Piktochart is one of the first companies in Malaysia to experiment a four-day work week.

Neelofa is an icon for her intelligence, beauty and success without compromising her values. What exactly does she do? Apart from being a successful actress, television presenter and fashion icon, she is also the face of global brands and a successful entrepreneur.

Coming from a family background with strong influence in business, Neelofa launched Naelofar Hijab in 2014, her own line of stylish and affordable head scarves for women when she was just 25. With multiple roles and successful businesses, the Pasir Mas native made it into Forbes’s 2017 30 under 30 Asia list, making her one of the most influential women in Malaysia and Asia.

Deborah Henry
The ideal representation of beauty with brains is none other than former Miss Universe Malaysia (2011) and Miss Malaysia World (2007) Deborah Priya Henry. Deborah in fact traded the catwalk and spotlight to champion the lives of refugee children in Malaysia.

She co-founded a non-profit education hub called Fugee School for refugee children predominantly from Somalia and the Middle East. She firmly believes in the importance of giving back to the community and works actively to provide refugees in Malaysia with a better future.

Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah
The Princess of Selangor often trades her crown for a chef’s hat as she often uses her platform and stature to inspire Malaysians from all walks of life by volunteering at the Kechara Soup Kitchen while also being heavily involved in Make-a-Wish Malaysia, being a royal patron to the organisation among many other involvements in charities.

Despite her privileged background, the Middlesex University graduate still pursued a white collar career, having worked as an account executive, hotel manager, journalist, and was even the international corporate communications manager at L'Oréal Paris.

Oh and she speaks French and Spanish on top of Malay and English!

Did we miss anyone out? Tell us who you think are some influential Malaysian women we should know about by tweeting us @graduan!

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