Procter and Gamble Philippines has been fostering a culture of equality and inclusion for its employees through policies, practices and programs that aim to enable them to grow in their careers while having the space and support to be their unique selves.
While there is still a lot of work to be done in unleashing the potential of women in the workplace, it is certainly possible, and many companies like P&G continue to progress towards that aspiration. Data from Grant Thornton International’s 2022 Women in Business report show that 48 percent of senior management roles in the Philippines are held by women.
Globally, the Philippines has the third highest number of women leaders in mid-size firms. One of the women helping P&G step up the campaign to promote equality and inclusion in the workplace is Atty. Mimi Lopez-Malvar.
Lopez-Malvar, director of government relations and country legal head, has been with P&G for over 13 years. “When I came into this role and quickly met others in the same field, there was a perception that this industry was dominated by men who were either cold strategists or well-placed political animals. I was neither. But over the years, I am happy to have progressed in my career with my own brand of diplomacy and the right mix of patience and perseverance to see things through,” she said.
Among her duties, she represents the company advocating issues critical to consumer goods and the manufacturing industry. She also helps the company broaden its socio-economic footprint in the country through programs and initiatives that help the environment, strengthen micro, small and medium enterprises, promote children’s health and hygiene, and empower women and girls.
Working at P&G also allows her to have flexible work arrangements to be able to balance work and her personal needs. “As a working mother, I benefited greatly from P&G’s generous policies such as extended parental leaves and flexible working hours, so I never had to miss family milestones,” she said.
The trusted consumer goods company has managed to bring its gender ratio in the workplace to an impressive 50-50 balance at the management levels—an impressive feat for any company, more so in an organization as huge as P&G.
“P&G is truly a gender inclusive workplace, and I don’t think I would’ve advanced in my career and at the same time been able to raise four children while juggling work if not for the programs and policies that we have in place,” she said.
This is not a new thing for P&G. Many have come before Lopez-Malvar, for whom she is thankful. Those women mentored her and showed everyone that there shouldn’t be a need to choose between being a wife, a mother and having a corporate career. Atty. Mimi is keeping that torch alive for the next generation of P&G employees.
“I’ve seen personal and professional growth happen when (in the words of one of my bosses), we become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Over the course of my life and career, some of the best decisions I’ve made were those that forced me to push the envelope further. This often presents an opportunity for me to stretch and discover strengths I didn’t know I had in me,” she said.