The Filipina leaders of today continue to redefine “leadership” in the workplaces of the various industries they belong to. These inspiring Pinay movers and shakers agree that the only way to succeed is to build a sisterhood of women—putting “Babaeyanihan” in action.
Oftentimes, when people hear the words “women empowerment,” misconceptions arise such as putting men down or emasculating them, taking power from the other gender, or females positioned as unworthy superiors The women leaders of Shell aim to debunk this myth.
“People think that women want to be given preferential treatment—that is 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,” shares Marvi Rebueno Trudeau, Deputy Executive Director and Director for Externally Funded Programs, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc.
The Global Gender Gap Report 2020 mentions the country as the top Asian country in terms of closing the gender gap. This was measured through economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
In relation to this, Pilipinas Shell’s Non-Fuels Retail Manager Rolyn Mae Tomarong underscores that women empowerment is 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 their own self-worth is regarded positively and promoted by the society.”
The strong Filipina leaders’ journeys to the top position were characterized by highs and lows. The hardships and struggles that they have faced along the way are equivalent to life-long lessons they intend to share to younger females of today.
Pilipinas Shell’s Corporate Controller & Investor Relations Manager Angel Castillo has learned through the years that one must not permit others to determine their weaknesses, strengths, and their destiny. “One of the significant learnings I can share is to never allow 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,” Castillo reiterates.
Meanwhile, Sankie Simbulan, Pilipinas Shell Country Social Performance and Social Investment Manager, underscores the importance of being a part of a women’s group since it serves as an avenue for sharing experiences, receiving encouragement, and even networking to support each other’s common or related goals.
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 by a structure and system designed to bring out their gifts and mature them to positions of authority in the long run.