Three Myanmar women are among the winners of the Women of the Future Awards Southeast Asia (WOF) for this year. The awards recognize women across multiple categories including entrepreneur, business, pubic service, media and communications, arts, culture and technology.
Dr. Theingi Win, founder and CEO of Global Assistant Co., won the Business Award; Ma Aye Thiri Kyaw, writer and humanitarian worker, took the honors for the Community Spirit and Public Service Award; and Ma Thinzar Shunlei Yi, youth advocate and host of the “Under 30 Dialogue” TV show, won in the Media & Communications category, according to a press release from the organizers on Friday.
In addition to the main awards categories, Myanmar was one of five finalists in the Highly Commended section, and Ma Thet Mon Aye, founder of Star Ticket was recognized in the Science, Technology & Digital sector.
The winners were selected from a shortlist of 54 candidates from 10 countries across the region and the awards went to women from Malaysia, Myanmar, Brunei, Singapore, Cambodia and the Philippines. The awards were announced at a gala dinner in Singapore on Thursday night.
Pinky Lilani CBE DL, founder of the Women of the Future (WOF) program, said, “We continue to be inspired and impressed with the number of passionate, driven and talented young women across Southeast Asia, and we are proud to recognize and celebrate their achievements. These young women are trailblazers who are committed to creating a kinder, more collaborative future for their communities, and are a true inspiration to us all.”
Founded 13 years ago in the U.K. by Pinky Lilani CBE DL, and mainly supported by Aviva, the Women of the Future Awards began recognizing young women in Southeast Asia last year.
Ma Aye Thiri Kyaw told The Irrawaddy that the recognition would give the winners global opportunities for learning and networking in the various sectors.
Seven women were nominated from Myanmar and four of them were recognized. Ma Aye Thiri Kyaw encouraged other women to take note of the nominations announcement and said, “More women should be nominated next year, either by recommending someone else or nominating themselves.”
The WOF Award winners and shortlisted candidates in each category will gain access to many different opportunities, including the Women of the Future (WOF) network—a global and collaborative network of women who support and inspire each other to further professional and personal success.
In 2018, Ma Phyu Hninn Nyein, general manager, farm advisory services, at Proximity Designs was honored with the Community Spirit & Public Service Award. She was one of the nine awardees.
This year, the Mentor category was added. The WOF Award founder said that, “In addition to adding the Mentor category, which recognizes and pays tribute to the often unsung individuals who have been positive, influential role models, we are also pleased to acknowledge Highly Commended young women who came close to winning and whose talent we feel we must recognize.”