Manila, Philippines – The Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE) launched “WEE Mean Business: Philippine Women Leaders Breakfast Dialogue to celebrate International Women’s Month on 27 February 2018 at Manila Polo Club.
PBCWE is a coalition of seven large companies committed to pursuing gender equality in the workplace. The event brought together a diverse group of leaders and advocates of women’s economic empowerment from different industries and sectors in the country.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop launched PBCWE during her visit to Manila in March 2017 and lauded the achievements of gender equality in the Philippines.
“We believe that women play a vital role in economic development. The Philippines has made remarkable strides towards achieving gender equality in the workplace – placing 10th most gender equal country at the 2017 Global Gender Gap Report,” said Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely. Australia has been a staunch supporter of PBCWE, through the Australian Government-funded Investing in Women initiative.
“We encourage companies to be part of the Women in Business coalition. As Australian Foreign Minister Bishop said, Investing in Women is not just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do,” Ambassador Gorely added.
“The idea was to turn our attention on the women who are currently at the helm of influential business groups and industries in the Philippines and lead efforts to carry the momentum of women’s economic empowerment,” said Ma. Aurora “Boots” D. Geotina-Garcia, Co-Chair of PBCWE, and Chair of the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN).
“With this year’s International Women’s Day theme, “#PressForProgress,” advocates must seek to recommit and collaborate to ensure that we are moving forward and all our efforts are translated into concrete action and measurable change. Just as we have started: we must come and work together in big or small groups and be in the forefront of addressing areas where women are greatly affected: women’s economic empowerment and the changing world of work,” Garcia added.
Participants of the dialogue discussed challenges and opportunities around gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. It is seen as a springboard for future projects, and collaborations to share best practices and advance the movement of women’s economic empowerment in the Philippines.
Among the attendees were Former Philippine Ambassador to Australia Delia Albert, FINEX President Marivic Espano, PMAP President Michelle Garcia, ANZCHAM Executive Director Stephanie Fabian, Makati Business Club Deputy Executive Director Coco Alcuaz, Filipina CEO Circle Vice Chairperson Cristina Concepcion, Telstra Country Managing Director Rosanne Suarez, SGV Managing Partner J. Carlitos Cruz.
WEE Mean Business is envisioned to be a quarterly event with roundtable discussions with different sectors. In this way the gender equality and women’s economic empowerment agenda will be at the center of all efforts and will ensure that with the country’s progress, half the population is not being left behind.
The Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE) was launched in March 2017 through the Australian Government-funded Investing in Women (IW) program. In the Philippines, IW has partnered with the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN) to create a business coalition to pursue Gender Equality (GE) in the workplace and Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) nationwide.
PBCWE is made up of influential businesses that are large employers who will take the appropriate steps to improve gender equity in their own workplaces and to influence businesses, both in their supply chains and other large businesses, and to also become better employers of women.
Jenn Lazo, Communications Manager
Nisa Rigets, Media Officer
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