Women-nation. With the first batch of graduates under the TESDA-Ariel #AhonPinay program were (2nd row, L-R) TESDA Women’s Center Chief Maria Clara Ignacio; P&G Ariel Philippines assistant brand manager Darla Bautista; P&G Regional Communications Manager for Fabric & Home Care, Southeast Asia Louie Morante; HARI President and CEO Ma. Fe Perez Agudo; P&G Philippines Country Leader for Laundry John Terence Dy; and TESDA-NCR Regional Director Cenon Querubin.
A lot of women already hold top positions in the corporate world, government, the academe, and other sectors of society. The Philippines, says the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report, ranks 10th out of 144 countries with the most gender inclusive society. What this meansis that our country’s women have risen up in the areas of labor force participation, educational attainment, health, and even political empowerment.
Despite these gains, there are still a lot of cases involving discrimination against women. Yet people such as Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI) President and CEO, Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, is one of those who once again encourage women to strive and go for their dreams. This was her underlying message at the recent graduation rites of the first batch of the TESDA Women’s Center in Taguig City.
Under the Ariel #AhonPinay program, some 60 students graduated from courses such as Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Plumbing, Automotive Servicing and Electrical Installation and Maintenance. These courses, if you will notice, are mostly dominated by males. Yet Ms. Agudo cheered on the women and encouraged them not to lose heart, to break the glass ceiling, so to speak.
She drew wisdom and inspiration from her own experiences—being a female executive in a male-dominated automotive industry. And she believes that if she could do it, so can everyone else. “Women have the right to quality education, health services, housing, and employment, not because we are women, but because these are basic human rights,”, she said.
Moreover, she cited those women, such as the working mothers, who can balance work and family. She calls them Modern-Day Heroes, people with a Heart to Empower and Reach out to Others.