Message of support at the launch of the research brief on Leading to Success: Women in Business and Management in the Philippines

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the launch of the research brief on Leading to Success: Women in Business and Management in the Philippines, 23 September 2020 Manila, Philippines via Zoom

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 23 September 2020
  • Secretary Bello III of the Department of Labour and Employment
  • Mr Ortiz-Luis Jr. of ECOP and ECOP officials
  • Mr Sisson, Chargé d'affaires, Australian Embassy Philippines
  • Ms Abad, Executive Director of the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment
  • Ms Garcia, Chairperson of the Philippine Women Economic Network
  • Ms Newton-Howes, CEO of the Investing in Women
  • Distinguished representatives from employers organizations, chambers, and businesses;
  • Workers, employees, brothers and sisters,
  • Our distinguished panellists, moderator and presenter,
  • Ladies and gentlemen, good morning!
A very warm welcome! The ILO is delighted and appreciates the collaboration in developing the research brief that we are here to launch and engage with. The true value of this research comes from engagements such as this one, through dialogue and learning from different partners and perspectives, ultimately with the view of bringing attention and recognition to the value of investing in women in the workplace.

The pandemic is heavily affecting labour markets, economies and enterprises, including global supply chains, leading to widespread business disruptions. The ILO has recently released the COVID-19 labour market impact report, with support from the Australian Government. The report provides an account of the evolution of COVID-19 in the Philippines and its economic impact in the first half of 2020, providing insights into the preliminary employment and labour market effects, also in the context of calls for digitalization for the Future of Work.

The ILO and its constituents – governments, workers and employers –play a crucial role through social dialogue to find solutions that will help revive the economy, ensure safety of individuals and sustainability of businesses and jobs. This has been articulated and captured in the 2020 Decent Work Country Programme which will serve as the framework for tripartite collaboration.

Employers and private sector businesses face extraordinary pressure to survive and continue to provide decent work and women workers in particular, are being faced the additional challenge of balancing their role within the family as unpaid care work and continuing to thrive in the workplace.

The ILO is committed to continue building the case for higher representation of women in decision making positions, through data – as has been captured in the research brief being launched today.

We know that improving gender diversity in the workplace does not only benefit women, but overall contributes to an improved society, economies and enterprises themselves.

We are encouraged to see efforts made by enterprises and employer organizations to help bridge this challenge. In particular, through the ILO’s Women in STEM programme, funded by J.P. Morgan, with our social partners, we have been able to support hundreds of TVET graduates and women workers to obtain STEM related critical technical and soft skills. The Programme has demonstrated the model and partnerships linking private sector and government in facilitating this transition for women for more senior roles in enterprises. Already we have trained more than 500 women from the IT-BPM Sector using our In Business Soft Skills Training and we expect even more through our partnership with the Employers Confederation of the Philippines.

Enterprises in the Philippines have committed to providing soft skills trainings for women in employment to support their career advancement aspirations, and the Women in STEM programme is pleased to have seen this commitment continue even into the virtual forums in delivering trainings as enterprises shift to online engagement of their employees during the pandemic. We encourage enterprises to continue to explore the value of providing such trainings and trust that with ECOP and the Philippine Business Coalition of Women Empowerment, these trainings can continue to be driven at the enterprise level.

The ILO encourages enterprises, employers and industry associations to continue making strides in putting action behind the positive business outcomes that we know are possible.

I wish us all a productive and successful dialogue with our continued collaboration. It is by working together that we can help each other and build a better future of work.

Maraming salamat po.