By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Only 3 percent of Philippine CEOs are women – as the number of women dwindles once the position in the corporate ladder goes higher, according to a survey by the Makati Business Club.
The study entitled “Men-Women Ratio in Philippine Corporations” was presented during a forum on gender diversity in Philippine corporate leaderships dubbed “Women in the Philippine C-Suite” by MBC in partnership with the Philippine Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment (PBCWE) and the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN).
The forum presented the key findings and recommendations of the joint study focused on the mid-managers, both male and female, from 129 corporations to provide a better understanding on why the number of women dwindles as positions go higher.
The study showed that in the Philippines, too few women are in the position of influence, power, and leadership in corporations. At present, only 3 percent of Philippine CEOs are women, this despite the fact that entry level positions are equal for men and women.
“In this study, we surveyed and talked to the mid-managers to get a glimpse of their career ambitions, their priorities, and the realities that they face in the workplace and in the family,” said MBC Chairman Edgar Chua.
“If our employees are not given the proper support, especially women as we see happening today, then companies will continue to lose their critical talents along the way.”
MBC Trustee and Accenture Philippines Country Managing Director Lito Tayag shared his views at the forum and how these are reflected in his company’s policies. “It is important to make sure companies create a more humane environment for women to succeed in their careers.”
In Accenture, he said, they are very conscious in terms of gaps in gender equality, promotion, performance management, and wage.
Four “squeeze” factors were determined by the study that narrow women’s opportunity to reach top leadership posts.
These key interplaying factors are individual, family, company culture, and wider societal expectations. For instance, the survey found that while men and women have the same level of confidence towards their skills and leadership potential, men are more confident to take on a leadership role immediately, while women hesitate for various reasons but mostly because of family situations.