In Philippines, enterprises are recognising gender diversity on business, says ILO report

By Akanimo Sampson

Greater gender diversity creates business benefits for enterprises, including higher profitability and productivity. © ILO/E. Tuyay

More than eight out of ten enterprises in the Philippines recognising the positive impacts of gender diversity on business, a new report by the International Labour * (ILO) titled: Leading to Success: the business case for women in business and management in the Philippines , says.

According to the study publishe1d 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.
Leading to Success: the business case for women in business and manageme…The country brief demonstrates the business case for gender diversity in management and workplace gender equalit…

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.

Director of the Bureau for Employers’ Activities, ILO, Deborah France-Massin, says “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.”

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 organised 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.

Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines, Khalid Hassan, says “we need to work together with government, workers, employers, women organisations and international organisations 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.”

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.

Senior Country Officer, J.P. Morgan Philippines, Carlos Ma. G. Mendoza, says “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’.”