Accelerating gender equality through data
Women who lead

Accelerating gender equality through data

We have heard the saying “What gets measured gets done.” This is a famous quote from the management guru Peter Drucker who actually said “What gets measured gets managed,” suggesting that if you measure something, then the probability of you taking action is higher, as the simple act of measurement increases motivation to perform which one author refers to as “good stress.” Measurement also promotes accountability for success or failure.

This adage underscores the importance of data in driving progress. As we celebrate International Women’s Day on Mar. 8, the themes “#InspireInclusion” and “Invest in women: Accelerate progress,” resonate deeply, urging us to reflect on our achievements in gender equality (GE), women’s economic empowerment (WEE), and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Coincidentally, we are also celebrating the 7th founding anniversary of the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN) and its flagship initiative the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE), continuing our work with organizations to improve competitiveness by building more diverse, gender-equitable, inclusive, and sustainable workplaces.

Our process-oriented approach. Since it was founded, PBCWE has worked with industry-leading businesses and major business groups to accelerate WGE, WEE, and DEI. With 44 member companies to date, PBCWE aims to continue the momentum of recognizing, building awareness, and sharing the benefits of WGE, WEE, and DEI. To achieve progress, PBCWE believes that undergoing an assessment enables companies to measure the current state of their workplace gender equality policies and practices. Thus, in February 2020, PBCWE and Investing in Women (IW), a project of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, launched the Gender Equality Assessment, Results, and Strategies (GEARS) tool.

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GEARS was designed to adapt to and suit the local context of companies in the Asean region. The tool consists of statistical data collection and targeted analysis in focus areas such as leadership and accountability, gender pay equity, mainstreaming flexible work, preventing, and addressing gender-based harassment, among others. GEARS is implemented through a client-responsive framework which is a structured end-to-end activity that defines, implements, and monitors the effectiveness of a company’s objectives and actions in terms of WGE, WEE, and DEI.

Tools, such as GEARS, serve as catalysts to inspire inclusion, invest in women, and accelerate progress by identifying areas where progress is stalling. In our experience working with PBCWE member companies, we have witnessed firsthand the evolution of our shared advocacy, from concentrating on only one dimension to integrating gender with other dimensions of diversity.

In 2022, we included in the GEARS tool, two additional focus areas: accessibility and reasonable accommodation, and LGBTQIA+ inclusion, in response to the need to recognize that a perspective of intersectionality is important to improve policies within workplaces as suggested by PBCWE member companies such as business process outsourcings and professional services firms.

At present, over 50 member companies in business coalitions in Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam where IW was implemented have undergone the GEARS tool.

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Women in executive leadership teams. Consistent with our data-based approach, PhilWEN and PBCWE are set to launch the first report on the “Census of Women in Executive Leadership Teams in Philippine Publicly Listed Companies,” in partnership with WR Numero Research. The report provides a statistical overview of female representation across 286 Philippines publicly listed companies over a three-year period from 2020 to 2022. The research aims to promote WGE and DEI as measurable indicators for achieving business sustainability.

The study shows that while there was a gradual increase in female representation across executive leadership teams, women remain underrepresented on boards and in roles that drive the company’s key commercial outcomes and have profit-and-loss responsibility. Line roles are seen to be more “strategic,” as they often lead to top leadership roles, including positions on the board of directors.

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As your partner in empowering all genders in your workplaces, through our collective strength and influence, let’s “step on the gas” and #InspireInclusion in the business community to achieve meaningful progress and positive change. Let us use data and research to measure our progress in WGE, WEE, and DEI, as indeed, what is measured gets acted upon.

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Ma. Aurora “Boots” D. Geotina-Garcia is founding chair and president of PhilWEN, and chair of the Governing Council of PBCWE. She is also the president of Mageo Consulting Inc., a company providing corporate finance advisory services.

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Women Who Lead is an initiative of PhilWEN.

TAGS: gender equality, opinion

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