7 companies form coalition for women’s empowerment
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - March 27, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Seven large companies in the Philippines recently formed a coalition aimed at promoting women’s economic empowerment.

Accenture, Ayala, Convergys, Magsaysay Inc., Natasha, SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co. and Stores Specialists Inc. established the Philippines Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment (PBCWE). These firms employ a total of 300,000 Filipinos.

PBCWE said it would lead the business sector’s efforts to institutionalize gender equality in the workplace. The coalition was established in cooperation with the Philippine Women’s Economic Network.

The group is committed to close the gender pay gap; progress women into leadership and management positions; improve female workplace participation and working conditions; and develop leaders and managers who will drive the gender equality agenda in their operations.

The Australian government is providing over A$1 million or P35 million to support the activities of the coalition through its Investing in Women program.

“This is a strong coalition, and impressive in the diverse sectors and industries that it covers,” Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely said.

“Our hope is that through their leadership, other companies will join the coalition, and together we can change the future for women and girls, and let them achieve their full potential,” she added.

The launching of the coalition coincided with the celebration of Women’s Month.

A 2016 report by McKinsey & Co. found that should the Philippines increase the workforce participation of women by just one percentage point each year, by 2025 it would add $40 billion to the Philippine’s gross domestic product or a nine percent increase. 

Australia has allotted $46 million for its Investing in Women initiative in the South East Asian region, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar, to support women’s economic empowerment.   

Part of the investment will go to EDGE certification for Philippine companies. The EDGE tool is a global standard to assess businesses’ policies and practices against gender equality benchmarks and help companies take steps to create more equitable and profitable workplaces.  

The program supports the Philippine government’s efforts in promoting gender equality and economic parity.

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