7 September 2018 – The Makati Business Club, together with the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN) and the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE), hosted a roundtable discussion with Annika Freyer, the CEO of Male Champions of Change (MCC) Australia. MCC is an Australian organization that works with influential leaders to redefine the role of men in the advocacy of gender equality. The event presented the MCC agenda and its global initiatives to get male business leaders to promote women economic empowerment not only at the national policy level but, more importantly, within their organizations.
“It is crucial that we begin to recognize and address issues affecting men and women in the workforce, and that includes access and pathways to leadership roles,” said MBC chairman Edgar Chua in his opening remarks. “This, we believe, will benefit business, women, and ultimately the economy too. Echoing this conversation in your own companies should be a good start.”
The conversation encouraged men in top management to be more engaged in ensuring that gender diversity is applied in all levels of business operations. The attendees shared their companies’ own initiatives and programs on gender diversity in the workplace, and many also candidly expressed the challenges they have faced. Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely was in attendance and said that she is looking forward to seeing MCC work with male CEOs here in the Philippines. “When we talk about gender equality, of course we don’t just mean exclusively to benefit either gender,” said Ambassador Gorely. “It takes both women and men to shape a more gender-equal world, whether at home or at the workplace.”
MCC Philippines aims to tap male business leaders to help advance workplace gender equality. The coalition hopes to invite more male champions to speak more publicly and walk the talk on closing the gender gap in Philippine business, improving diversity, and increasing the number of women in leadership positions.
Aligned with this initiative, the Makati Business Club is currently undertaking a research and advocacy project entitled "Addressing the Leaking Pipeline in the Philippines (ALPP): Evidence-based Advocacy for Gender Diversity in the C-Suite,” which aims to provide manageable and realistic solutions for companies to practice gender diversity in top executive levels. It will be presented and published in March 2019.