A commitment to promote diversity, inclusion, and digital empowerment

Published April 13, 2021, 8:32 AM

by Edgard Hilario

“With our soft skills development program, we hope to empower more women and effect change to men and how they perceive women in the workplace. Ultimately, this program aims to build the capacity of both women and men, so that they may harmoniously and effectively work with each other,” Ms. Diana Pardo-Aguilar, ECOP Vice President and Chair of the recently launched ECOP Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee, said as she delivered her opening remarks during the “21st Century Workplace: Leadership Skills for the Workforce” online forum conducted recently via Zoom.

Just in time for women’s month, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) launched the said event with the support of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PHILWEN) and the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE).

The half-day event featured a ceremonial signing which showcased the commitment of various industry associations and companies in the Philippines in conducting soft skills training to women employees together with ECOP, as well as a workshop on enhancing the leadership skills of the participants through ILO’s In Business Modules.

Under this program, ECOP is set to work with various industry associations such as the Philippine Hotel Owners Association, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Exporters Confederation, Philippine Association of Legitimate Service Contractors, and Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment and capacitate their secretariat with essential skills, including the use of digital tools, that will allow them to cascade the program among their respective industries. ECOP also continuously works with the private sector in the implementation of this program.

Ms. Diana Pardo-Aguilar, ECOP Vice President 

“Because of the challenges brought about by the pandemic, we, at ECOP, were forced to think creatively and critically on how we can move forward with the program. With the support from the ILO, we were able to transform the program into something that can be delivered online,” Ms. Pardo-Aguilar shared during her speech.

ECOP was on track towards conducting multiple face-to-face trainings with companies such as Nestle Philippines but the pandemic forced the group to conduct the workshops digitally. ECOP and Nestle forged a partnership to train more than 350 female employees across Nestle’s supply chain.

“Today’s activity is not just for the sake of conducting an activity to commemorate women’s month. Our webinar today signifies ECOP’s long-term commitment in promoting diversity and inclusion and making sure that the changes in the workplace and the workforce work for women,” she said.