THE GOVERNMENT has been working toward making gender equality and women empowerment a norm in the workplace, according to Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who chairs the Senate Committee on Women and Gender. She announced this at the recently concluded business forum organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), saying also that entrepreneurs have been supporting government to push for laws and programs for women empowerment.
Several other women, all successful and respected in their respective fields, joined the senator to enliven the discussion at the ECCP Women in Business Forum, held at the Spaces World Plaza, in Bonifacio Global City, a financial and lifestyle district in Metro Manila’s Taguig City, on Thursday, August 2. “Our aim really was to tackle how Philippine and European companies can make gender equality and women empowerment a part of today’s work culture, ensuring inclusive growth in the business environment,” Sheila Lobien, who chairs the ECCP Women in Business Committee, said in an interview on the sidelines of the event. “And we’re happy with the results of our forum.”
Expressing delight at how the forum had attracted interests among the different business industries, Lobien said more than 100 female managers, supervisors, and employees, as well as executives and leaders from the private sector, government, and academe came together for a freewheeling discussion on issues concerning and affecting women in workplaces. “The forum was also a celebration of collective achievements and progress by women — and even men — in promoting gender equality in our places of work,” she added.
The president of Mageo Consulting, Inc., Boots Garcia, for instance, highlighted the advocacy for women’s rights in workplaces as having a significant impact on the economy, while Myrna Yao, CEO of Richprime Gobal, Inc., talked about the need to embed gender-equality practices in every organization, as this brings about improved productivity.
While the forum hosted a number of plenary sessions as well as moderated discussions on a number of topics about women in the workplace, one of the highlights was the need to bridge the gap between businesswomen and female millennials, who themselves are expected to someday become entrepreneurs or productive members of society.
“There must be a positive promotion of high-performance culture in workplaces — something which I have been doing in my own organization,” said Leni Bantiling, vice president for Business Development at Trends and Concepts Total Interior Solutions, Inc., whose opinion was echoed by Ma. Christina Concepcion, president and CEO of BPO International, Inc. Bantiling added, “And it’s how to work with the millennials — we take them seriously, and we inculcate in them that being in the real world is a serious business.”