The Singapore Corporate Counsel Association’s (SCCA) first of a new Leadership series featured the city-state’s Speaker of Parliament in a conversation about her professional journey and plans for the future.
The event, held on 31 July at Mapletree Business City town hall was well attended by members and ended with an enthusiastic Q&A session where Halimah Yacob, Singapore’s first woman Speaker, gave insightful feedback.
From her early days as a trade union lawyer, Yacob has defied stereotypes. She went on to help build the fledgling legal department of the National Trades Union Congress and eventually became its deputy secretary general. She told members her deep desire to serve the working class and the poor marked the beginning of her political career, which ascended from being a member of parliament to a minister of state and then speaker of parliament.
Yacob described humble beginnings from life at school with her mother her main motivator (her father, a watchman, passed away when she was eight years old). Yacob told members that struggles are often challenges that can gain one recognition. She shared that her life’s lowest point, and moment of greatest strength, was dealing with the passing of her mother.