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26 March 2021 – The Makati Business Club, alongside UN Women, WeEmpower Asia and the Delegation of European Union in the Philippines, hosted the launch of the 2021 “Women in the Philippine C-Suite Report (Nationwide Study) in time to cap Women’s Month. The forum focused on best practices that move the needle in terms of helping more women achieve their corporate aspirations. 

The study is a follow up to a 2019 report focused on Metro Manila, which MBC did with partner Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE). In this new, nationwide study, the MBC team surveyed and interviewed middle managers and CEOs all over the country to get a better understanding of the realities Filipino women face in climbing the corporate ladder, including added challenges posed by the pandemic. 

“Ensuring a gender-inclusive workplace starts by building a collaborative, supportive, and respectful environment where everyone feels included and valued. Diverse ideas and experiences can help organizations innovate and grow,” says Richard Bates, President and CEO of Manulife Philippines and the forum’s keynote speaker.

In relation to the pandemic, Lizanne Uychaco, SVP at SM Investments Corporation, said that being able to save jobs is prioritized at SM, and its business units are adapting to the challenges brought by COVID-19. On the other hand, Aboitiz InfraCapital President and CEO, Cosette Canilao, shared that it was an easier transition for their company because work-from-home arrangements were already being implemented before the crisis hit.

Meanwhile, chairman and CEO of Nestle Philippines, Kais Marzouki, shared that the company has achieved 50-50 full gender-balance in terms of management positions across organization. However, there are still areas that they have to improve in especially in their manufacturing unit. “Even in a country, like the Philippines, which consistently ranks in the top 10 of the most gender-balanced countries in the world, women are still very vulnerable and [when] extraordinary events like COVID happen, they are really the first ones who feel the full brunt of the crisis,” Marzouki said.  “It’s very important for us also, that we have a role to play as corporations in improving the status quo.” 

The highlights of the 2021 “Women in Philippine C-Suite” Report can be downloaded here: