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Biz Memos

Balancing Act: A look at the empowered women of AboitizPower

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Advances in gender equality in male-dominated industries like the power sector could possibly be one of the most heartening changes that can be seen today. Personal stories of women employees from various workplaces have demonstrated that it is pretty challenging to combine professional goals and motherhood duties, especially at such a time. Still, AboitizPower's power women prove it is possible to juggle both.

 

Liza Luv Montelibano

Chief Financial Officer, Aboitiz Power Corp.

AboitizPower seeks to strike a balance between its thermal and renewable portfolios by 2030, a task AboitizPower Chief Finance Officer Liza Luv Motelibano has described as challenging yet fulfilling and energizing at the same time.

Yet how can she still find time for her family when her work demands so much? She shared that she uses "integration" to effectively balance her roles as an executive and mother, emphasizing the importance of making choices and setting expectations. She places boundaries at work, with phrases such as "I will get back to you" going a long way in clarifying what she can do and not do.

While some found the work-at-home setup difficult initially, Liza took advantage of its benefits. Being at home further enabled her integration strategy, even when meetings often ended later than agreed. Time management and integration allow her to get to know her sons better.

Being both a mother andprofessional leader is an exciting and enjoyable experience for Liza.But between the two, she emphasized that her children are her joy. Her boys made her a better person – a better mother and team leader. She is thankful that they support her for being a working mom.

With her successful career and fulfilling motherhood, Liza really has everything figured out. There are many lessons to learn just from her story alone. Still, her greatest advice to young women or women who might have faced or been in a similar situation is to be clear when making choices.

 

Racquel Bustamante

Chief Financial Officer, AboitizPower Generation Group

AboitizPower Generation Chief Financial Officer Racquel Bustamante emphasizes the importance of commitment and having priorities in order.

Before the pandemic, Racquel's biggest struggle was time. She never stops being a mother, even when in the office. Asking for updates about them here and there to finish the tasks early to go home, take care of, and be with them. Only to find out that the kids are already tired, fast asleep, or have missed dinner. And like Liza, she grabbed the opportunity of making the most of her time in the WFH arrangement.

AboitizPower is one of the contributing factors to Raquel's favorable setup, as they are very supportive. She said that employees are not mandated to report to the office unless required otherwise by their respective team leaders and handle the transition.

Racquel may have a household helper, but she sees she is present to all her children, especially the youngest, who is nine years old. She focuses more on quality instead of quantity. Two or three hours are enough as long as they are worthwhile and spent correctly.

On the other hand, Racquel added in jest that she treats her two older children – aged 18 and 16 – like her team members. She ensures that they grow up with guidance and support, including a sound order system, rules, and policies.

That is why Racquel can only shed light on the fact that there is "no perfect formula to all the young women who might have faced a similar situation." Instead, find the right balance for essential choices, because for her, it was never a choice between motherhood and a career.

 

Jeihan Borlaza

Chief Financial Officer, AboitizPower Distribution Group

One of the most critical ingredients in AboitizPower Distribution Group Chief Financial Officer JeihanBorlaza's successful motherhood-career-balance recipe is her mother, whom she calls her "main inspiration" and "role model." 

Like the effective leader she is, her mom was a bank executive while raising five kids. She recalled how she was encouraged to go further and be persistent in achieving her goals. "[Mom] was one woman who doesn't take no for an answer. She would always find a way," Jeihan shared.

Jeihan is relatively a new member at Aboitiz Power – joining the company in October 2020 at the height of the pandemic. She is delighted to be working in such a dynamic and forward-looking company that is surrounded by "supportive teammates and inspiring working moms thriving in their own careers."

Working in an environment with tight deadlines and high standards like in finance, it is inevitable for Jeihan to do overtime. To meet her responsibilities as an executive and mother, she "defines her priorities and makes time for the most important things." She recalled, "I make sure that I offset that with quality family time after the busy season. I also have a strong support system. My spouse is an equal partner in raising our children, and our extended family is always willing to help."

And just like how her mother inspired her in her younger years, Jeihan's greatest hope is to encourage her two daughters to be the best version of themselves.

Yet as for those young women and women who might have experienced the same situation, Jeihan shared that gender "is not and should not be an issue in pursuing a career." She emphasized the need to be clear on your life goals and go for them, build a robust support system, work smart, prioritize, and learn to say no when things are not on your list.

Liza, Racquel, and Jeihan exemplify women who thrive in their careers and families. Their stories are a testament to the Aboitiz Group's drive to increase diversity and belonging in the workplace, making the company a more innovative, creative, and engaged organization. They build and nurture a culture where all members are celebrated and recognized.

 

 

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