“Women Who Drive the Future” took centerstage at a luncheon hosted by Pilipinas Shell for its women employees through its Women’s Network recently.
Shell General Manager for External Relations–Asia Pacific Xiaowei Liu, Philippine Daily Inquirer business features editor Tina Dumlao, Opal Portfolio Investments president Ida Tiongson, and TraXion chief executive officer Ann Cuisia shared experiences, stories and lessons learned in their respective fields.
Liu, who discussed gender equality, stressed that everyone needs to manage the “unconscious bias” they tend to hold in the workplace, not even realizing that they are making unfair assumptions or stereotypes based on age, gender, ethnicity or religion, among others.
“This isn’t just about gender—it’s about the presumptions and assumptions we hold on to. Sadly, this is especially felt by women, since we already have a lot of traditional biases stacked against us,” she said.
One such bias is against women drivers, who are perceived as less able and skilled than their male counterparts on the streets. The video “Babae Kasi (That’s because it’s a woman)” can be accessed via https://www.facebook.com/Shell/videos/2793813874177699/.
“This is why I admire Shell, which has a progressive and inclusive work policy that respects not only women
but all genders. I hope that everyone continues to work together to strike that sweet balance of gender opportunities in the workplace,” Liu added.
“Our mission in Women’s Network is to support women to positively drive their career and capability to contribute to the whole organization,” revealed Regina Lejano, head of Shell’s Women Network. “We aim to enhance the work environment so we can recognize women’s talent and differences as essential to the well-being of the organization,” she added.
Lejano also stressed that the Women’s Network aims to create a gender-neutral community to inspire, empower, and positively drive women to their full potential.
Pilipinas Shell is one of several companies within Shell’s global network that has put up a Women’s Network aimed at helping female staff to connect, share ideas and support each other in reaching their potential.
Established in 2016 as part of Shell’s celebration of International Women’s Month, the Women’s Network is now on its third year of seeking to empower its members, developing them for leadership roles and increasing their level of participation in the workforce.