21 June 2023 | Report

Exploring the Role of Women in Philippine Workspaces

Workplace Gender Equality


The report examines the role gender norms play in the career progression of women in Philippine organizations and what organizations do or could do to minimize their negative impact. It explores existing gender norms and stereotypes in workplaces and how these impact the growth and experience of female employees and the policies and practices in companies. The report collected quantitative and qualitative data through online surveys, parallel interviews, focus group discussions, and learn-and-share sessions participated by leaderships across the C-Suite and middle management level from 27 organizations.

This report was published by the Makati Business Club with support from Investing in Women.


  • Gender norms pigeonhole men and women into specific work roles that are deemed ‘suitable’ for their gender, specifically roles that require physical strength and roles related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
  • The perception among C-level respondents is that men and women are equally ambitious, but that women are held back by caring roles. Having children is seen to negatively impact women’s careers. Women are also seen to be more likely than men to need support to balance competing priorities.
  • Mid-managers think their colleagues adhere more to the norms than they do; this is particularly evident in norms surrounding care responsibilities. Beliefs regarding equal income sharing are more progressive, which affirms studies on the double burden of women, who are expected to earn more while taking on majority of the care work.
  • There is a gap between C-level and mid-manager awareness of policies seen to be supportive of gender DE&I, with C-level respondents being more aware of such policies.
  • While gender DE&I policies are adopted and positive action is done towards positively shifting gender norms in the workplace in many companies, the variances in awareness and employee uptake of these policies indicate gaps in the communication, promotion, and implementation of gender DE&I initiatives.

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