Top 10 Women in AI in APAC

AI Magazine lists some of the leading women in AI across the APAC region
We consider some of the most innovative women in the world of artificial intelligence (AI) across the Asia-Pacific region, as they continue to transform AI

With women only taking space within roughly one-fifth of the technology sector, championing women into AI leadership roles is essential.

Across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, only 5.7% of startups have women founders - a figure which, according to Google’s research, has remained stagnant for the past five years.

In the wake of our sister publication Technology Magazine having published its Top 100 Women in Technology 2024, AI Magazine lists some of the leading women in AI across the APAC region.

From development to deployment, the women featured on this list are committed to advancing the future of AI across a wide range of key industries.

10. Megha Aggarwal, co-founder of Fundamento

Megha Aggarwal

Megha Aggarwall is an AI entrepreneur and businesswoman, having co-founded Fundamento (formerly Skillr) in 2020. Fundamento is an AI-powered virtual agent for automating contact centres, working with business clients to reduce contact centre costs. Some of its first and leading clients include Indiamart, Disney + Hotstar and Paisa Bazaar.

The platform was chosen as one of the Top AI Companies in Asia by Google.

Prior to forming Fundamento, Megha worked at Morgan Stanley for four years as a Banking Analyst. She is also a Non-Executive Director for India and Bharat Together (IABT), an applied research organisation.

9. Jamie Jeong, CTO and co-founder at Zenerate

Jamie Jeong

Jamie Jeong PhD is an experienced machine learning scientist with a background of working in predictive modelling and recommendation systems within the insurance industry. Based in South Korea, she previously worked as a Data Scientist for Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance in planning, developing and deploying AI models into businesses.

Currently, she is the CTO and co-founder of Zenerate, a platform that provides AI solutions for real estate development. The company’s main product, Zenerate Modular, is designed to provide specialised solutions for modular construction. 

8. Fatemeh Vafaee, Associate Professor at UNSW Sydney

Fatemeh Vafaee

Dr Fatemeh Vafaee is an Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) within the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences. She is also the founding director of OmniOmics.ai Pty Ltd with the vision to accelerate personalised medicine and precision therapy using intelligent multiomics approaches.

As an internationally renowned scientist in computational biomedicine, Fatemeh holds expertise in AI and more than a decade of experience in translational medicine. She is also the Deputy Director of the UNSW Data Science Hub and Programme Lead of Med-Tech AI.

7. Zena Assaad, Senior Lecturer at The Australian National University

Zena Assaad

Zena Assaad is currently senior lecturer at the Australian National University and a fellow within the Australian Army Research Centre (AARC). Her current research areas include safe and trustworthy AI and autonomous systems, in addition to the regulation of emerging technologies. Her work also focuses on human-machine teaming contexts.

Based in Australia, Zena has worked across various areas of research, including for Geoscience Australia, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). She is the co-host and co-producer of the Algorithmic Futures Podcast.

6. Simmi Dhamija, Founding Member of Stealth Startup

Simmi Dhamija

With more than 25 years working in business, Simmi Dhamija is a capable leader that has driven success across disciplines such as strategy, digital transformation, customer engagement and delivery management.

In March 2024, Simmi founded Stealth Startup - a startup company that operates in stealth mode to avoid public attention. As a Chief Operating Officer, she is proficient in leading large-scale transformation across a variety of business areas.

Prior to her current role, Simmi worked in technology leadership roles at both Wipro and Tech Mahindra to oversee the digital transformation of key business processes. 

5. Saba Samiei, founder and CEO, MACSO Technologies and Comfort.AI

Saba Samiei

Committed to advancing business AI responsibly, Saba Samiei is the Founder at MACSO and Comfort.AI. Her roles focus on raising awareness about AI and helping to guide companies to leverage the technology in a strategic, beneficial and ethical way.

Specifically, MACSO aims to give AI the ability to replicate human senses to prevent catastrophes from happening.

Prior to her current roles, Saba worked as a Partner Development Manager at Microsoft to help partners with Microsoft-related business strategy planning. She also worked as an IT Analyst for IBM.

4. Orla Glynn, Executive Data & AI Transformation, Acceleration & Adoption at Telstra

Orla Glynn

Orla Glynn is a growth-driven executive in data and AI transformation, acceleration and adoption. Her goal is to create opportunities for innovation by building high-performing teams that enjoy delivering customer-led solutions.

She drives Telstra’s data and AI capability development through strategic roadmaps and transformation programmes, with teams spanning Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and India. Prior to Telsta, she served as General Manager Data & Analytics CoE and Head of Data Value & Enablement at AGL Australia. She also spent a decade at NAB, gaining experience in finance, data, analytics, reporting and digital innovation.

3. Gargi Banerjee Dasgupta, Chief AI Officer at IBM Automation

Gargi Banerjee Dasgupta, Chief AI Officer at IBM Automation

Gargi Banerjee Dasgupta is the Director of Product Management and AI Leader at IBM. She is responsible for the technical strategy of AI assistants built on watsonx. In her role, she is responsible for representing and communicating IBM Automation’s technical vision and AI strategy with key stakeholders around the world.

Having first joined the company in 2004, she worked as the Chief AI Officer for IBM Automation and was also the CTO for IBM India/South Asia. Gargi also helped to establish new directions of research in AI-led operations and automation at the intersection of service science, text analytics and AI.

2. Mei May Soo, Director, Data Science & AI Global Presales (Field CAIO) at Dell Technologies

Mei May Soo

Coming from a background of Finance, Accounting, Procurement and Logistics in her previous roles, Mei May Soo is very familiar with data and analytics. She currently leads the AI and data science initiatives in Global Presales at Dell Technology, which involves working closely with customers to solve problems scientifically and objectively. 

In particular, her team designed and built a Deep Learning model that recognises and identifies different types of corals as part of conservation efforts of the Great Barrier Reef. Mei May Soo’s work is instrumental in helping Dell Technologies continue to embed and deploy AI across businesses.

1. Andrea Della Mattea, President Asia-Pacific at Microsoft

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Andrea Della Mattea has been Microsoft’s APAC President since 2017, leading the organisation’s strategic direction and operations in the region. She also supports digital acceleration across 15 countries to drive the company’s mission of empowering every person and company to achieve more.

Her team works to enable businesses of all sizes to embrace technology as a platform for continuous innovation and economic growth.

Andrea holds more than 25 years of experience in the technology sector and is a strong advocate for an inclusive workplace. She continues to encourage girls in STEM sectors and supports women in leadership roles.

Prior to Microsoft, Andrea has worked in several director positions at HSBC, Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity Australia.

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