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Exploring the Role of Women in Philippine Workspaces

Makati Business Club Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment


Asia The Philippines

Case Study Report/Paper

Workplace Gender Equality

Exploring the Role of Women in Philippine Workspaces

Exploring the Role of Women in Philippine Workspaces

The case study 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. Published by the Makati Business Club (MBC), it explores the existing gender norms and stereotypes in workplaces and how they impact the growth and experience of female employees and the policies and practices in companies 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.


The case study enumerates key findings identified including how gender norms pigeonhole employees into specific work roles deemed suitable for their gender, how women are held back by caring roles and having children despite having similar drive and ambition as men, how women are seen to need support to balance competing priorities more likely than men, the gap between mid-managers’ own beliefs and perception of their peer’s beliefs, the gap in awareness of gender DE&! policies between C-level and mid-managers, and how awareness does not always result in employee take-up.


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.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • Objectives
    • Methodology
    • Limitations
  • Key Findings
    • Gender norms pigeonhole men and women into specific work roles that are deemed ‘suitable’ for their gender.
    • Most C-Level executives think men and women have similar drive and ambition, but that women are held back by caring roles.
    • Having children is seen to negatively impact women’s careers.
    • Mid-managers think their colleagues adhere more to the norms than they do.
    • Women are seen to be more likely than men to need support to balance competing priorities.
    • There is a gap between C-level and mid-manager awareness of policies seen to be supportive of gender DE&I.
    • Awareness of policies and benefits does not always result in employee take-up.
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
    • What Companies and C-Suite Executives Can Do
    • What Mid-Managers Can Do
    • What Regulators and Policymakers Can Do
    • What Researchers Can Do
  • Bibliography
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