It’s International Women’s Day on 8 March 2021! Here’s to all the inspiring women in Singapore
Sassy Mama is founded by women, made up of a diverse team of women and we in turn are all about celebrating women from all backgrounds, faiths, and nationalities (that’s why are so keen on interviewing mamas from all walks of life in our real story series of That Mamas, and our Wise Words from Mamapreneurs). For International Women’s Day 2021 we have chosen a range of inspiring women in Singapore to shout out about. Here’s to all the amazing fellow mamas, entrepreneurs, multi-taskers and all-round fabulous women. Our list is just a little snapshot – there are countless other women out there doing amazing things, and it’s also important to recognize those ladies doing everyday “ordinary” things that may make a huge difference to that one person or one child. So whilst our list of inspiring women is by no means exhaustive – it is a chance to high five some great women out there. Join us in paying this idea forward by shouting out about anyone who has inspired you in any way.
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them…And may we teach our boys to respect them.”
Celebrating Inspiring Women in Singapore
Yen Siow has such a moving story. She escaped Vietnam on a boat with her family and other refugees in 1980 and was rescued by a Norwegian oil tanker that brought them to a refugee camp here in Singapore and eventually to Australia. Yen is a powerhouse of positivity, running her own social enterprise to encourage children’s involvement in STEM, along with looking after her three active boys, lots of charity work and MUCH more! We are so inspired by her altruistic efforts in the community and in empowering others. Read our interview with Yen Siow here!
Richa Tiwari is a Molecular biologist and cancer researcher who now works in AI for Google. She has two boys, and blogs about fashion (she is one stylish mama!). Richa passionately shares her parenting journey via her Instagram – introducing mindfulness to her kids, science experiments, and thoughtful ideas like how to be a gender neutral parent by promoting books about strong females to her boys. How does she find the time? We don’t know, but it’s an inspiring ride to see her in force!
Lynn, in case you didn’t know, is Sassy Mama Singapore’s co-founder and therefore owns her spot right here as one of Singapore’s most inspiring woman! Lynn is married to restaurateur and award-winning chef Beppe De Vito (The ilLido Group), mother to four boys and co-founder of Loop PR. She advocates for the F&B industry and has featured as a judge in Singapore’s King of Culinary TV show. But that’s not all, she somehow still finds the time to champion women’s rights by sitting on the Board of United Women Singapore (UWS), a local non-profit organisation that advances women’s empowerment and gender equality, and builds a pipeline of women leaders and influencers in Singapore. Lynn is the epitome of the modern-mama, she manages to juggle all of her work commitments without compromising her dedication to her family.
Claire Jedrek is Singapore’s only female race car driver, plus she’s an emcee, writer, and mother of two. She works hard to be strong and fit and we are so inspired by how comfortable she is with her body (check out the hot pics she had taken for the pregnancy shoot for us way back). But most of all this lady looks like she knows how to enjoy life, have a good time, be a present mama and also get the job done. Tips please, Claire!
Janice Koh is a respected stage, film and TV actress and a former Nominated Member of Parliament – championing the importance of arts, heritage, design and culture. Janice is an active volunteer and advocate for women, education and the arts and in 2017, she founded Pasar Glamour with her dear friends, Pam Oei and Petrina Koh, to raise funds for charity. We are inspired by her intelligence, talent and grace, and how much of herself this mother of two is always giving to others.
Mollie is the General Manager of the French fashion and accessory company, Longchamp, in Singapore & Malaysia, and an avid promoter for wellness in the workforce. We are inspired by Mollie’s amazing multi-tasking force – aside from her ‘day job’ she founded the NGO ‘Emotional Inclusion’ and kick-started her podcast ‘Emotional Inclusion” where she hosts global leaders with a voice to help destigmatize mental health and lead the way to a better emotionally accepting corporate ecosystem. Mollie’s mission is to shatter the status quo of today’s business landscape and lead the way to a wholesome new mindset in the workforce.
Sarah Bagharib works with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders and founded Crazycat, a platform dedicated to empowering women. Sarah has hosted self-improvement events in the past with inspiring personalities like Noor Tagouri. We are inspired by her call to help others and her honesty in sharing her experience of motherhood – the good moments and the hard ones too.
Shirin Taylor is a SAHM (stay at home mother, for the uninitiated) who seems to have 100 activities planned for her kids Monday through Sunday! We are inspired by her constant enthusiasm for life, for staying fit (it’s all about #selfcare right?) and for her lust for exploring every inch of Singapore with her kiddos in tow.
Dr Farhan Alami is a Geriatrician with Raffles Medical with four young kids. We are inspired by her dedication to help others as a frontliner. Part of her work as a geriatrician involves seeing the elderly admitted to hospital with lung infections and fever and she has had to come up with new ways to communicate with them if they are hard of hearing and struggling to lip-read her due to wearing a mask.
Faz is a go-getting woman juggling multiple projects (including APAC Marketing for Sugarmat) all with a toddler in tow. We find her inspiring because she doesn’t let being a mom define who she is – yet she is clearly a wonderfully hands-on mama to her gorgeous boy. Faz is very open about mental health awareness and how the loss of her father has affected her. She started up an inclusive community online @mysafesphere to end the stigma of mental health.
Huiling Ng is a Singaporean mom with two young children. We are so inspired by her tireless work with different charities. She even shaved her hair last year to support the Children’s Cancer Foundation.
Anna Ico Tingzon is a mother to a young daughter with DS. Anna is the founder of 21 Extra Goodness, a social venture meant to raise the level of awareness of kids with special needs, specifically with Down syndrome. We are inspired by her constant dedication to help others – Anna is an advocate of getting mothers the right support and intervention for their child if needed.
Sunita Gill-Karkaria is the founder of Singapore Luxury Homes and Group Director of Propnex Realty. Sunita is a true example of a woman who does it all. What we admire most is the balance she has in her life. Sunita has massive success in her career, but also a wonderfully close relationship with not just her children, but also with her husband, her mom, mother-in-law, and her friends.
In addition to raising her three boys, Elaine is a practising doctor in palliative care, an active entrepreneur and the co-founder of Trehaus, an innovative space that’s part office, preschool and family club. She is also a co-founder of CRIB, a social enterprise that empowers women by helping them to become successful entrepreneurs. It doesn’t stop there! She is actively involved in philanthropic causes, is an ambassador for SNOW (Say “No” to the Oppression of Women”), a UN Women initiative that enables programmes that prevent violence against women. For all those reasons and also because she is one of the kindest people we know we wanted to nominate her as one of our inspiring women of Singapore.
Aarika Lee is a musician, Marketing Director and Copywriter at Elementary Co, and full-time mother and wife. We love her can-do attitude, her dedication and ability to find balance is admirable, and we are especially inspired by her meaningful parenting posts on issues from internet safety to reducing single-use plastic – always sharing her honest insights on her IG. A true modern mama.
Maria has been a lawyer, human rights advocate and Strategic Partnerships Manager at Google (not to mention a mum of two), and is now the founder of a femtech startup called Fig Health. Her willingness to embrace new challenges and reinvent her career, all the while working to empower women through health, is what makes her so inspiring.
Elaine is a mum of three who took on the challenge of homeschooling her three children in the middle of 2020. We are constantly inspired by her determination and creativity in teaching her kids at different levels which she documents at @creativemummyinspirations.
In 2011, Gleia made the tough decision to leave her home in the Philippines in hopes of giving her children a better life. In 2017, she decided to enrol at Aidha as she wanted to find out about money management and entrepreneurship. Gleia is now a proud business owner. We are inspired by her motivation to improve her prospects to carve out a better life for her children back home.
Ifeoma Ubby, is the young founder of African inspired fashion label OliveAnkara but she is also a molecular biologist with a doctorate in genetics. OliveAnkara was launched here in Singapore in 2016, while Ifeoma was completing post-doctoral studies with the National Cancer Centre. She was looking for African fabrics to make her traditional Nigerian wedding gown but couldn’t find any in Singapore. She brought her own in from Nigeria, designed and sewed her gown by herself and decided to start making other African garments for friends.
Ismiatun, from Lampung, Indonesia is a mother and a grandmother too. She has been working in Singapore as a foreign domestic worker for more than 20 years. She plans to return home for good soon to execute her business plan and to be with her family. We are inspired by her commitment to empower herself with new skills. She completed a sewing course at Aidha, plus all three financial education modules. Her business plan is to open up a sewing school cum factory in her village, in hopes of providing job opportunities for the women and girls back home.
These “Inspiring Women” were nominated by individuals in our Sassy Mama team. We also reached out to Aidha to spotlight fellow mamas working here as domestic helpers doing inspiring things for their families.
Want to read about even MORE inspiring women in Singapore? Check out our popular That Mama series, where we interview inspiring mamas who are all amazing multi-taskers juggling kids, work and life, check out our Wise Words from Mamapreneurs series, profiling rocking female business owners or hear from brave mamas who share their story of pregnancy loss, or were inspired to create children’s charities after losing their own children. There are SO many brave, strong women here in Singapore, and we are honoured to help tell their stories!