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Lazada’s Pauline Castro: Paving a new path for women in technology

Franz Lewin Embudo - The Philippine Star
Lazada�s Pauline Castro: Paving a new path for women in technology
Castro noted that Lazada's commitment to innovation is evident in its approach to seamlessly merging shopping with entertainment and social experiences by offering a wide Beauty assortment at the best prices, exclusively from local and international brands.
Photo Release

MANILA, Philippines — Despite some progress in recent years, women have historically faced significant barriers in starting a career and advancing in the technology industry due to various systemic and cultural factors.

For Pauline Castro, the head of e-commerce platform Lazada Philippines’ traffic strategy and product operations, overcoming these barriers is crucial in achieving greater gender equity and unlocking the full potential of women's contributions to the field, particularly in technology.

Castro, who handles Lazada's content and UX optimization, said that in her experience, she considers barriers in the technology industry as “empowering” because tech itself provides women greater flexibility.

“Because of that flexibility, it breaks the barriers for women who must juggle multiple roles. Because of the flexibility of the technology we provide, you can juggle it alongside your other important tasks,” Castro told The Philippine STAR in an exclusive interview.

Castro highlighted one of Lazada's most innovative features, LazBeauty. This platform serves as a one-stop-shop for all things beauty, offering customers access to a vast selection of products from both local and international beauty brands, as well as popular online favorites in categories such as hair care, skin care and makeup.

She added that LazBeauty also fosters a community of beauty enthusiasts who share tips and recommendations, helping customers to make informed decisions that fit both their skin type and budget.

"We're redefining Filipino beauty by providing you with choices that help build your confidence, embrace your own beauty and express your best, authentic selves," Castro said. "We serve all types of customers and intuitively understand the needs of our female consumers."

Castro noted that Lazada's commitment to innovation is evident in its approach to seamlessly merging shopping with entertainment and social experiences by offering a wide Beauty assortment at the best prices, exclusively from local and international brands.

"With female, future-gen consumers becoming digitally savvier, Lazada is confident in providing Beauty partners with a competitive edge as an innovative platform that keeps up with consumer trends.

The brand offers up to 80 percent off branded LazFlash deals, fast and free shipping (as quick as three days in Metro Manila with ?0 minimum spend, no cap), as well as exclusive deals when you sign up as a #LazBeautyClub member.

Recently, LazBeauty tapped actress and content creator Gabbi Garcia as the new face of the brand. “Gabbi is the perfect personification of everything that LazBeauty stands for. We, at Lazada, hope that we continue to inspire Filipinos, especially the younger generations, to embrace their most authentic selves."

Evolving online shopping behavior, shoppers’ interest

Castro said the changing behavior of online shopping is reflected in the evolving interests of shoppers. She cited studies indicating that approximately 76 percent of them consider online shopping an integral part of their day-to-day lives.

“We saw that during the pandemic, of course, the reliance on online [shopping] accelerated a lot. And because we really worked towards building a good experience to support our users who really have the best access to what they need during the pandemic, our users stayed loyal and built the habit of relying on their important needs and [buys] from Lazada,” she said.

Woman in tech

Pauline Castro, head of traffic strategy and operations of Lazada Philippines.
Photo Release

When asked about the advantages of being a woman in technology, Castro cited empathy as a key value that she can bring to the industry. “As a woman, whether it be inside corporate or outside corporate, because of our different life roles maybe as a mom or maybe as a sister, empathy is at the core of it.”

"And that helps a lot that it becomes a natural kind of ability for you. Because when I do work in the tech industry, you can have all the technology and the most advanced, but without understanding the human element to it, the deepest desires and being able to connect that to the experience that you create from them, it would be bland and lacking,” she said.

‘Pressure is a privilege’

Castro shared that her mother, whom she described as a disciplinarian with high standards, instilled in her at an early age the belief that "pressure is a privilege."

“It is something that you should welcome and confront instead of shy away from because that pressure actually embodies the trust that people around give you,” she said. “When someone gives you a difficult task or a difficult challenge, it simply represents that they trust you or they give you permission to solve a problem for them.

“So, you must be able to respect that permission that they give you. I always remember that in tough times at work. I always have a mindset that [pressure] is a privilege. I am entrusted to do this, so I’ll do my best,” she added.

Democratized idea sharing

Castro said that Lazada's culture of democratized idea sharing makes her feel empowered as a woman leader. “Our culture was never top-down or hierarchical, it was always about being able to openly share your ideas and empowering you to actually experiment and test these and just let the data decide,” she said.

“Here, it is very democratized because at the end of the day, you have the technology to test all the ideas and let the users tell you what the experience should be.” 

An ecosystem that empowers women

In a recent speaking engagement, Castro also mentioned that Lazada celebrates the successes of its sellers and highlights the achievements of significant women. 

"For our top sellers, apart from events that celebrate their success such as Lazada Forward Women, we do have seller packages wherein they do get extra perks which are performance-based so they always feel motivated to stretch their performance.” 

Castro also cited Kim Scott's Radical Candor in talking about the value that women add to the workplace. 

"It tells us that when you want real work done, you have to invest in real relationships. I find that as a woman, we are very strong in relationships and we are able to bring that strength into the workplace and we are able to develop a different leadership and culture.” 

"I always remind myself that my role as a leader beyond assigning tasks is really being able to understand and listen deeply to what their life goals are and create and align their work experience so that they find meaning at the end of the day, so you accomplish what you start with which is real work because they find meaning in it and you work happily." 

WOWing women this 6.6

For Castro’s team and Lazada’s dynamic community of female employees, “finding empowerment includes taking charge of the day-to-day experiences that help make women’s lives more convenient, personal and meaningful.”

She invites everyone to shop LazBeauty finds and other exciting deals during Lazada’s 6.6 WOW Sulitipid Sale (June 6-8), where they can enjoy the best prices and the biggest savings with fast and free shipping. Start your journey as a Lazada seller today by visiting http://lzd.co/bealazadasellernow.

 

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