She's a mother, a daughter and a friend - just like any other woman out there, which is probably why even at the top of her game as CEO of DP Architects, Angelene Chan, was surprised when she was named Her World Woman of the Year 2017.
The 53-year-old architect was presented the award on Wednesday (Aug 23) evening at the annual event which has been honouring exceptional women in our society since 1991.
With over three decades of experience, Chan is the first female CEO among the top five architecture firms in Singapore.
Some of her most notable work include the Singapore Flyer, Resorts World Sentosa, Wisma Atria and The Dubai Mall.
"Winning this award is a total surprise. I had never expected it. You see these women as women who have done great things and I don't see that (about myself) because I'm just doing what I really love to do. And if it changes the environment and it touches people's lives, it is a double blessing," said Chan, who also shared the award with all her female colleagues, who, like her, play multiple roles on a daily basis and constantly have to juggle work-life balance.
Deeply humbled and honoured to be conferred the award, Chan said special thanks went to her family and friends who taught her that "the most meaningful thing (she) can do with (her) time on Earth is to nurture, to give and to reciprocate love".
Past winners include Professor Chan Heng Chee (1991), Ms Jennie Chua (1999), Madam Halimah Yacob (2003), Professor Ivy Ng (2011/12), Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Zuraidah Abdullah (2015), and Dr Sudha Nair (2016).
This year, the Her World Young Woman Achiever award went to Kirsten Tan, 36, a local budding filmmaker, who has won over dozen awards at film festivals in Singapore and the region.
Perhaps, what she is most famous for to date is her feature film Pop Aye, which is about a man and his elephant. The film, which Tan wrote and directed, took three years to make and was released to critical acclaim. It snagged a prize for screenwriting at the Sundance Film Festival, making Tan the first Singaporean to ever win at the prestigious event. Pop Aye also picked up an award at the equally well-regarded International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Tan said in her speech at the Her World event, held at Shangri-La Hotel, that she had never thought she could be an achiever.
Growing up, she was always the odd ball and was even voted "most weird" in secondary school.
“I never set out to be an achiever. I didn’t know I could be one. I was merely single-minded in pursuing the thing I love – in my case, film – and though I fought hard for it, it is also my privilege to be able to pursue it," said Tan.
"This award is a welcome validation and thank you for allowing me to see myself in a new light."
Tan added that her wish is that the Young Woman Achiever award can mean something, not just for her, but "for every Singaporean girl who wants to do her own thing".
"She might be limited by circumstance, society, or an illogical fear that she isn’t good enough. She may not fit in, in the way she thinks, dresses, or behaves, but I want to tell her not to hold back.”
Well, these two have certainly not held back when it comes to pursuing their dreams and goals in life.
Congratulations, ladies! And thanks, for being an inspiration.