The Philippines has made major achievements in women’s economic empowerment; with more than 40% of women enrolled in tertiary education, women holding 40% of senior management roles, and owning almost one quarter of small to medium enterprises. The Philippines is the gender equality leader in South East Asia and ranked 8th out of 149 countries in the 2018 global gender gap index.
While the Philippines has made strong progress, cultural and political barriers continue to restrict opportunities available to women. Taking into account women’s higher levels of education, employers in the Philippines pay women 23-30%2 less than men, and appoint fewer women to leadership positions with 30% of boards composed entirely of men.
Filipino cultural norms also place the burden of unpaid housework and childcare upon women, restricting opportunities to progress in the workplace and in business. Women’s workforce participation is just 46% in the Philippines compared to 76% for men.
In collaboration with corporations and business leaders, impact investors and entrepreneurs, governments and advocates in the Philippines, Investing in Women is building the business case and spearheading the campaign for women’s economic equality in South East Asia.
The Board Gender Diversity in ASEAN study advances the case that having women in business leadership positions is good for company performance,.
Discrimination against women in the workplace is a persistent structural and social issue that can start as early as the hiring process.
The business case for paternity leave is also compelling. The benefits of paternity leave extend to parents, children and business.