What makes an inclusive and diverse workplace

Published July 19, 2022, 9:41 AM

by John Legaspi

Mondelēz International celebrates Pride beyond June as it expands diversity, equity, and inclusion programs

Pride Month may be over but its mission continues. Today as many Filipinos are going out and getting back to how they worked during pre-pandemic times, it is just right that companies take a look at their work culture and assess what needs to be improved. Contrary to what others may think, creating a diverse and inclusive workspace benefits not only the LGBTQIA+ individuals but the rest of the community and the company as a whole. Showing just that is Mondelēz International as it expands programs aiming to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for its people.

Recently, Mondelēz International held a discussion sharing how it champions an inclusive culture that spans even beyond its workspace.

Photo from Mondelēz International

Giving equal benefits to all 

Self-identification is one of the many things important to any individual. To show how it acknowledges each person’s self-expression, the company has put out policies and benefits, with the guidance of its senior leaders, that recognize their identity, from the use of pronouns and names, education and networking opportunities to social responsibility and thought leadership on inclusion and diversity. 

Mondelēz International Philippines leads in the field of DEI practices as the first country in the Southeast Asia business unit of the company to put forward a workplace policy that focuses on three basic gender rights (1) The right to a preferred name, (2) The right to dress to reflect identity, and (3) The right to safe spaces. It also has gender-neutral parental leaves, regardless of birth method (biological or adoption). This policy benefits not only LGBTQIA+ individuals but also its cisgender employees. 

“We stand for creating a workplace where our people can be themselves, regardless of religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, or background,” says Aileen Aumentado, people lead of Mondelēz International in the Philippines. “In our workplace, we value each other. Our work on DEI has centered on creating a best-in-class organization where our colleagues who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community can be the best they can be. We also empower allies, to stand for belonging and speak out against discrimination.” 

Supporting cause beyond the work floor

Creating change and unlearning biases should not end in the workspace. To continue its mission, Mondelēz International Philippines has also partnered with various groups to help make the LGBTQIA+ Community more visible and heard in society, especially with its #ProudToBeMe campaign. 

Among its partners is the UP Babaylan of the University of the Philippines in Diliman. The company worked with the organization in painting a pedestrian crosswalk in rainbow colors. 

Photo from Mondelēz International

“By working with UP Babaylan, we want to extend our DEI messages outside of our company,” says Aumentado. “It is important for us to express public support for the LGBTQIA+ community and proactively help influence the workplace culture of our partners and stakeholders.” 

Another partnership it did is with Castro Communications. With the help of the public relations agency’s managing directress Janlee Dungca , Mondelēz International Philippines is able to push its LGBTQIA+ agenda more in the Philippines.

Since 2021, Mondelēz International Philippines has been a member of the Philippine Financial and Inter-Industry Pride (PFIP), a collaborative, voluntary, and non-profit community of Pride/LGBTQIA+ advocates and allies from private organizations in the Philippines. To make its Pride celebration more meaningful, it has invited Fire Sia and Earl Tan from PFIP to speak about its ongoing Standards Playbook project, which aims to provide a guide for companies who wish to strengthen their DEI practices. “The Playbook” is expected to be released late this 2022, and Mondelēz International is one of the participating companies in its formation.   


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