The Philippines remains among the more gender-equal countries in the Asia-Pacific region, having closed nearly 79 percent of its gender gap in the workplace. This is according to global employment firm, Global People Strategist.
This gender gap, the company said, “is measured on the basis of workplace participation, economic leadership, education, work benefits, and workplace recognition.”
Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc.—the exclusive manufacturer of PepsiCo beverages in the country—is one of the companies that continue to promote women empowerment in the workplace. From executive positions to distributor roles, PCPPI celebrates women by providing them with equal opportunities to thrive.
This holds true for Sheryll Elic who started as quality assurance analyst in 1998, a pioneer for a new line. After five years, she had a lateral transfer as an operations analyst. This was followed by a promotion in the laboratory as QA Manager in 2012. In 2015, she became the first woman operations manager of the company, a title she holds to this day.
With her constant career development, Elic commends PCPPI’s workplace policies on women empowerment. “I admire the company’s openness to diversity regardless of who they are or what they do for the business. We feel equally involved and supported in all areas of the workplace. Benefit wise, there is no restriction,” she said.
As an OM, Elic sees to it that all her direct reports are aligned with the company’s objective to consistently deliver good and quality products. “I see to it that manufacturing expenses are well managed and I prioritize the initiatives that will result in efficiency and safer products,” she said.
In 2014, Elic was awarded as one of the top performers in operations during the PepsiCo Circle of Champions held in New York. “I was the first to be awarded in the manufacturing, if I am not mistaken. I got to mingle with international leaders, including the famous former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi,” she said.
PCPPI extends the same growth opportunities to its distributors. For Sheila Co, who started as a PCPPI dealer in April 2015, entering the business allowed her to have a steady source of income while still having enough time for her family—a factor she considers crucial as a working mom.
“Pepsi gave me the opportunity to have a business while staying in the Philippines to be with my family, instead of working abroad. They also helped me provide a nice home for my family and send my kids to a good school. Both of which were my goals when I was starting,” Co said in Filipino.
But she admitted that managing a distributorship business is a tough job. “We faced many trials in the beginning, from manpower to equipment. Some employees would have problems with attendance and there would be unexpected equipment or delivery vehicle breakdown. This put us behind schedule and had to re-route other drivers to make the deliveries work,” she said.
Then the pandemic happened. “There were days we had to close the warehouse due to lockdown. Income was low but there are still bills that need to be settled. Demand for our products also declined, but we still need to meet our quota,” she said.
PCPPI was able to help during these challenging times. “We asked assistance from Pepsi to cushion the impact of the pandemic on our business,” she said. In turn, PCPPI provided marketing and product support to its distributors, including Co.
These days, Co continues to persevere to hit her targets, both for the business and her family. “It is not easy to be successful in the business right away. But with hard work and perseverance, success will come at the right time,” she said.
These working women are part of PCPPI’s diverse workforce and business partners. As part of its global agenda, PepsiCo aims to achieve 50-percent women in managerial roles by 2025 and provide greater flexibility through its policies.
“We aim to offer growth opportunities and sustainable livelihood for everyone we serve and work with, regardless of gender. Our initiatives to empower women by giving them critical positions and helping their businesses prove our commitment to gender diversity and equality. In PCPPI, we recognize women as key players in our business and we celebrate their wins this Women’s Month,” said Vivian Cheong, chief human resources, corporate affairs and communications officer at PCPPI.