MRS Josephine Teo entered politics in May 2006, shortly after joining the labour movement as a human resource (HR) director in October 2005.
She was seconded to the National Trades Union Congress from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), where she was HR director.
She joined A*Star in 2002, after 10 years with the Economic Development Board (EDB), where her last job was head of HR.
In 1996 and 1997, she and her husband, Mr Teo Eng Cheong, worked in Suzhou, with the China-Singapore Industrial Park Development, now known as Suzhou Industrial Park.
Mrs Teo, 41, was seconded from the EDB to the industrial park project, while her 43-year-old husband was then working with the EDB.
He is now the chief executive of government agency Competition Commission of Singapore.
The couple met while in junior college, and they now have three children: Simon, 11, and twin girls Jaime and Nicole, nine.
Mrs Teo, who is bilingual, is also conversant in such dialects as Cantonese, Hakka and Hokkien, which she picked up while working in the family's shoe shop in Joo Chiat.
She did her primary schooling at St Hilda's Primary and spent her secondary school days at Dunman High before going to Raffles Junior College.
In 1991, she graduated with a Second Class (Upper) honours degree in economics from the National University of Singapore.
The same year, she got an EDB scholarship to do a master's degree at the London School of Economics.
This article was first published in The Straits Times.