Cleo Change Makers follow their passion
Five years ago, Ms Lee Jia Pei, 28, left her job as an auditor at an accounting company to join the Singapore navy.
"I wanted something different and more challenging," she told The New Paper.
"The best part of this job is feeling like I am doing something meaningful as I am also protecting my loved ones."
As an assistant operations officer, Ms Lee helps plan exercises and training out at sea or in the harbour.
Women make up about 7 per cent of Singapore's naval force, and the Republic of Singapore Navy aims to double that number in 10 to 15 years.
Ms Lee is one of eight young women who were honoured as Cleo Change Makers last week.
She said: "I was surprised because I am simply doing something I want to do.
"But I hope I can inspire other young women out there to never limit themselves."
Launched last year, Cleo Change Makers honours inspiring women who embody Cleo's motto of "Your life, your rules".
The magazine's editor-in-chief Claire Starkey said: "Through Cleo Change Makers, we share their stories and the lessons they have learnt to help start a conversation and also to inspire others to choose their own paths in life."
Another one to win the honour, Ms Kelly Wong, 28, quit her job in banking to open Wong Kee Wanton Noodles at Timbre+ in 2013.
After three years in the corporate world, she felt it was time to be her own boss. She was also inspired by her dad's experiences.
"Although I had no prior experience in cooking, I did not want my dad's skills - he has been in the food and beverage industry since he was eight - to go to waste. What I have learnt, was all taught by my dad."
The long hours, hiring staff and male-dominated industry have been challenges, but Ms Wong said she pushes herself to do her best.
She said: "I do not have a feminine character so the way I speak and do things is usually very rough.
"If people expect me to be gentle, there is no way I can be in this industry as a hawker."