What is Women Empowerment? How Aboitiz Supports Workplace EqualityAboitizEyes
The fifth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) is expansive and challenging. It asks us to spark change and “[achieve] gender equality and [empower] all women and girls.”
For Aboitiz Group, we believe that this SDG represents not only a fundamental right for Filipinas but also a crucial component for a prosperous and sustainable world.
While we acknowledge that women empowerment in the Philippines has seen progress over the last decades, we also acknowledge there is much more work to be done to advance equal opportunity in the workplace.
Why Women’s Empowerment Matters
The answer is simple: because it’s the right thing to do — we fight for goals like this because we believe that it is our duty. Women and girls have the right to be in charge of their future, and we have the responsibility to promote their well-being.
But beyond simple human decency, there’s no denying women are one of the most powerful investments we can make for building a better future for the Philippines. When we empower women and present them with equal opportunity in education and livelihood, the more productive members of society we create.
This, in turn, creates a ripple effect. Better education, work, and benefits not only influence her life but the life of her family and community, too. Equality will unleash a woman’s potential, as well as the people around her. This is the true secret of investing in women’s empowerment.
How We Build a Progressive Culture in Aboitiz Group
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are at the heart of our OneAboitiz Sustainability Framework. Aside from our Code of Ethics, and internal policies and campaigns, we follow these principles to embody this in all of our business units:
- Treating all women and men fairly at work — with respect and strong support for their equal rights and nondiscrimination.
- Ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of all workers through inclusive healthcare, anti-harassment policies, and the like.
- Allow equal opportunity for corporate leadership.
- Advance the education and professional development of women within our organization.
- Implement enterprise development and other programs that empower women in host communities.
- Promote equality through our community initiatives and advocacies.
- Regularly measure and publicly report on our progress on this SDG.
These principles help guide us to support inclusive growth both within and outside our organization.
The Empowered Women of Aboitiz
In line with our principles and core values, we make sure that no one is left behind. Each member, regardless of gender, is given opportunities for both professional and personal growth.
We always hope to nurture and create a workplace that treats everyone fairly — which is why our non-discrimination policies are strictly followed in all aspects of employment. And, the numbers show the fruits of that dedication.
Across our business units, we see more and more women coming on board the Aboitiz Group. In Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV), 50.18% of its employees are women. AboitizPower (AP) — which operates in a male-dominated field — has seen an increase in women employees year by year, going from 27.60% to 29.03% in just three years.
Our executive-level positions, too, are becoming increasingly occupied by women — who now account for 42% of strategic roles in various business units.
To continue ensuring our organization upholds this inclusivity, we have several programs in play.
One of the most recent strides that we have made in terms of workplace gender equality (WGE) is our REMIX program. This is our approach to ensuring our companies can adapt and thrive as the workplace continues to evolve with each generation of professionals. Under this program are employee-led discussions and initiatives concerning diversity and equality, as well as e-learning sessions about relevant issues (such as the Anti-Sexual Harassment and Safe Spaces Act at the workplace).
Through the REMIX program, we stay atop the most prevalent and pressing issues surrounding women’s empowerment. And, we help our team members stay empowered and equipped with information.
Another way we actively promote WGE is our Aboitiz Women’s Club — an employee engagement program that hosts learning sessions on laws that concern gender equality in the country.
Promoting Women’s Empowerment in our Communities
Outside the Group, we always look for new ways to strengthen our communities. This has allowed us to spearhead several CSR programs to empower women. For example, we work with the United Nations Global Compact Philippines to help build the right environment and supply chains for women-owned MSMEs.
We have also worked with countless cooperatives, such as the Benguet Thanksgiving Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC). In this partnership, the Aboitiz Foundation (AFI) held capability-building training and financial workshops to educate their women members, and empower them with life-improving skills.
Another example of how we empower women and girls in our communities is our recent project through Pilmico, who partnered with TESDA and DTI for the Wooden Spoon Program. This program provided a training facility in which entrepreneur bakers and pastry chefs had the space to learn and innovate, bolstering their technical training, and providing the opportunity to start their own pastry businesses.
In the Philippines, women’s empowerment still needs much reform and effort to achieve true gender equality. But, we here at Aboitiz Group continue to fulfill our commitment to empower women and promote quality both in our organization, and our host communities. It is our hope that our work in establishing progressive, proactive, and bold programs will empower Filipinas to flourish, and unlock their full potential within our society.