Gender equality and COVID-19

Gender diversity is good for business says new ILO survey in the Philippines

A country survey jointly conducted in the Philippines by the ILO and Australian initiative “Investing in Women” recognizes the benefits of gender diversity on business and provides recommendations to better integrate and leverage the female talent pipeline.

Press release | Manila, Philippines | 18 September 2020
Greater gender diversity creates business benefits for enterprises, including higher profitability and productivity. © ILO/E. Tuyay

MANILA (ILO News) – More than eight out of ten enterprises in the Philippines recognize the positive impacts of gender diversity on business according to a new ILO report entitled: “Leading to Success: the business case for women in business and management in the Philippines ”.

According to the study published for the first UN International Equal Pay Day, 84 per cent of the 389 Filipino companies polled say gender diversity has brought several benefits to their businesses.

Among enterprises in the Philippines reporting better business outcomes, 73 per cent reported increased profitability and productivity as well as greater creativity innovation and openness, 69 per cent reported increased ability to attract and retain talent, 61 per cent said their company’s reputation had been improved and more than half reported better ability to gauge consumer interest and demand.

There is a clear business case for companies in the Philippines to implement initiatives on gender diversity. Action in this area is not only the right thing to do but the smart thing to do."

Deborah France-Massin, ILO ACTEMP Director
The country survey, was part of a global report from the Bureau of Employers Activities of ILO which surveyed 13,000 enterprises across 70 countries.

“Considering the demographic challenges and skills shortages faced by many countries in the region, this research shows there is a clear business case for companies in the Philippines to implement initiatives on gender diversity in terms of being able to attract and retain the best possible talent. So action in this area is not only the right thing to do but the smart thing to do” said Deborah France-Massin, Director of the Bureau for Employers’ Activities, ILO.

COVID-19 impact

The brief also calls attention to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the service sector where women workers are over-represented in the Philippines.

While the crisis has highlighted the importance of flexible work arrangements and telework, it has also exacerbated women’s double burden in balancing family and work responsibilities, the report notes.

The results of the survey will be discussed during an online webinar on 23 September 2020, jointly organized by the ILO, Investing in Women, the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE) and the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), and funded by the Australian Aid, J.P. Morgan and the ILO’s Bureau of Employers Activities.

Preparing a better future of work

Enterprises need to reach a critical mass of women in top positions in order to reap the benefits of gender diversity. © ILO/E. Tuyay
"We need to work together with government, workers, employers, women organizations and international organizations to ensure that girls and women are not left behind. By working together towards reaching our sustainable development goals on gender equality and decent work, and harnessing women’s full potential, countries are assured of a more inclusive and innovative environment that can achieve higher levels of development,” said Khalid Hassan, Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines.

In 2017, the ILO, in cooperation with J.P. Morgan launched a new programme to help girls and women access quality employment in STEM-related sectors (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.

“J.P. Morgan believes that enhancing gender diversity increases creativity, productivity, and innovation in businesses and ultimately contributes to a stronger local economy. As an equal opportunities employer, we are committed to equipping women with STEM skills to help them gain meaningful employment across ‘industries of the future’,” said Carlos Ma. G. Mendoza, Senior Country Officer, J.P. Morgan Philippines.

For more information please contact:

Ms Linartes Viloria
National Project Coordinator
Women in STEM Workforce Readiness and Development Programme