Leading ladies: Inclusivity in the workplace, career lessons

·2 min read

GLOBAL life insurer Manulife was honored at the 2020 Best Employer Brands and at the UN Women 2020 Asia-Pacific Women’s Empowerment Principles Awards.

To inspire women to take charge of their lives and careers, Manulife Philippines’ leading ladies shared their insights: Fritzie Tangkia-Fabricante, chief legal and compliance officer; Melissa Henson, chief marketing officer; Candy Suarez, chief financial officer; Anna Villamor, chief human resources officer; and Aira Gaspar, president and chief executive officer of Manulife Asset Management Trust Corp.

Inclusive workplace culture

Fabricante said empowering team members to express their thoughts and share their ideas is at the core of building an inclusive workplace. “Every opinion matters in coming up with a holistic solution, regardless of background.”

This is echoed by Henson, who emphasized the importance of diversity of thought.

“A growth mindset enables organizations to thrive in today’s rapidly changing business environment, and requires welcoming possibilities and ideas that may be different from what we know. Diversity, and the inclusiveness that fosters it, allows that.”

For Villamor, knowing that the company puts a high premium on diversity, equity, and inclusion is a great push when hiring and developing talent.

Breaking barriers

Suarez’s role involves risk management and part of this responsibility is ensuring the company’s capability to fulfill its promise of protection. She has also seen how the life insurance industry has evolved.

“Young Filipinas now are also more financially literate and aware than ever because of the wealth of information that is available to them,” said Suarez.

Gaspar shared: “Young women can build a rewarding career in investment management. As they develop their knowledge and skills in understanding how financial markets work and the factors that drive the movement of asset prices, they will find that investment management can be a fulfilling career.”

Financial independence

“Gaining financial independence requires making endless choices daily—on how much we spend, how often we spend, and what we spend it on. It can be difficult, especially when money is tight, and there are competing priorities. It is important to be disciplined,” said Villamor.

Setting financial goals is another way to build a good habit.

“Invest early and consistently, so you can achieve your dreams while also ensuring a comfortable life for you and your family,” said Gaspar.

Empowering women

Gender diversity among leaders has been proven to accelerate organizational and financial performance.

“People find fulfillment in being part of an organization that enables them to realize their sense of purpose,” shared Gaspar. “No one has the monopoly of best ideas, so every member of our team is encouraged to share insights and collaborate with other team members to achieve set goals. This has fostered a culture of taking responsibility to make things happen.”

Manulife’s leading ladies serve as an inspiration for women everywhere. (PR)