Filipina leaders of today redefine leadership in workplaces of various industries they belong to. Whether it be mobility, transportation, information technology, or the arts. Pinay movers and shakers agree that building a sisterhood of women helps with success. Putting Babaeyanihan in action, the Shell Women’s Network Leaders narrate their career paths. Their competence, excellence, and confidence remain present in the country. The Philippines ranked in a list of 32 countries with the highest number of women executives holding senior management positions. This information came from Grant Thornton’s 2020 report. As we celebrate them this International Women’s Month, we pick their brilliant minds. Meanwhile, understanding their perspective on women empowerment. We also listen to how they strike the stigma around it and underscores the significance of a strong female support system.
The Shell Women’s Network Leaders Narrate Their Career Paths
Striking the Stigma
Oftentimes, when people hear the words women empowerment, misconceptions arise. This includes putting men down or emasculating them. Aside from that, it would also include misconceptions like taking power from the other gender or females positioned as unworthy superiors. Marvi Rebueno Trudeau, Deputy Executive Director and Director for Externally Funded Programs, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. shared:
“People think that women want to receive preferential treatment – far from the truth. What we want is an equal playing field for women to compete in and be allowed to work in the careers that seem to be male-dominated.”
Women all over the world demand fairness in their professional careers or their socio-political space. The Philippine scenario remains optimistic in this aspect as the Global Gender Gap Report 2020 mentions the country as the top Asian country in terms of closing the gender gap. Measured through economic participation and opportunity. Aside from that, the measurement also included their educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
With that said, Pilipinas Shell’s Non-Fuels Retail Manager Rolyn Mae Tomarong underscores that women empowerment revolves around.
“ [It’s simply about] how women are given the opportunity and the environment to contribute significantly and positively to society, contribute to progress. And, have the right to live meaningful lives as self-worth remained regarded positively and society promotes.”
Forwarding the Lessons
Highs and lows characterized the strong Filipina leaders’ journeys to the top position. The hardships and struggles that they faced along the way stay equivalent to life-long lessons they intend to share with younger females of today. A good Filipina leader knows how to balance her professional career, outside-of-work activities, and personal life. Randee Latonio, Pilipinas Shell Nature-Based Solutions Business Development Advisor, shared what she would say to her 20-year-old self. She hopes to remind her alter ego:
“Your life should not revolve around your work. To become someone successful, we might tend to let work fully consume us, forgetting other priorities in life such as family and health.”
Pilipinas Shell’s Corporate Controller & Investor Relations Manager Angel Castillo, on the other hand, learned a lot through the years. Of course, this includes not permitting others to determine their weaknesses, strengths, and as a result, their destiny. Castillo also reiterates:
“One of the significant learnings I can share has to relate with never allowing anyone to dictate your limitations on what you can become but be open to accept and reflect on constructive criticisms. The possibility to develop yourself and achieve your aspirations is limitless if you put your heart and mind to it.”
With the intent to leave a positive impact on Filipino millennials and Gen Z of today. These She-EOs declare the ways on how they can galvanize the Babaeyanihan spirit among ladies belonging to the youngest generations.
The Significance of a Community
Meanwhile, Sankie Simbulan, Pilipinas Shell Country Social Performance, and Social Investment Manager underscore the importance of being a part of a women’s group. It serves as an avenue for sharing experiences, receiving encouragement, and networking to support each other’s common and related goals. She began her aerial acrobatics dancing at age 40.
“I am part of the Shell Women’s Network, which has been active in inviting inspiring women to talk about their journey to success and how they have overcome personal challenges. I am also part of the aerial dance arts community of women, who encourage each other to be fit and strong–regardless of age–while also exploring their artistry and creativity.”
Pilipinas Shell engages women leaders and women’s groups to plan initiatives under Babaeyanihan spirit. Its Shell Women’s Network currently supports women in the workplace. It also celebrates female leadership in an evolving, empowering platform that inspires women to enable other women to succeed. As the stories of the ladies above show, women can rise to the occasion and lead. Given enough encouragement, equipping, and peer-to-peer community bonding. Upheld with structure and system designed to bring out their gifts and mature them to positions of authority in the long run.
Aside from being a businessman, Josh Austria has been working in PR and media industry for more more than a decade. From his years of experience as the Marketing and Advertising Head of Village Pipol Magazine, he has built strong relationships with creative people, brands, and organizations.