The Council of Engineering Consultants of the Philippines Young Professionals Forum, in partnership with the Women’s Leadership Initiative, Women in Infrastructure Foundation and Geoladies PH, launched the first Philippines National Women in Engineering survey.
The survey seeks to collect statistical and qualitative data from women engineers, affiliated professionals and their employers, which could serve as a roadmap to produce programs and policies to promote gender equality, inclusivity and diversity in the sector.
It focuses on perspectives on how women are perceived in the workplace, key gender issues in engineering and if there are adequate gender-related policies in the workplace.
“There is a glass ceiling that might not currently be there on paper, but is visible in the social and economic pressures it creates it for women. We want to do something about it. We want to understand where we are right now, and so we want to hear from women engineers,” said CECOPHIL-YPF chairperson Jean Jacquelyn Nathania De Castro.
The Philippine Council of Women, in its Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Plan 2019-2025, recognized the lack of women in science, technology, engineering and math.
In a 2019 report, the National Economic and Development Authority said less than 7 percent of women were employed in the construction industry, but did not provide data on whether those women were employed in managerial or entry positions.
There is lack of current, focused statistical data on how large the gender gap in the infrastructure industry might be, according to De Castro.
“Every one of us, men and women, play a vital role in the construction industry. This survey will serve as a starting point in coming up with programs and policies that will further elevate the role of women,” she said.
The CIAP and the Federation of ASEAN Consulting Engineers endorsed the survey.
PHI Corp. president and chief executive Mary Joy Maraat noted the Philippines’ prominence for higher degree of parity between men and women in the economy, particularly in managerial roles.
“We may not be conscious about it, but having women in STEM poses a huge advantage for businesses. Women’s involvement and leadership in STEM pushes economic growth and advances gender equality,” she said.
PHI Corp. serves as the third-party consultant for the survey. The survey has been coursed through several key organizations to gather respondents from all fields of the construction sector.
CECOPHIL-YPF, along with partners from CIAP, the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board and Urban Land Institute Philippines, reached out to contractors, consultants and developers to encourage their employees to answer the survey and share their experiences.
Qualified individual engineers and allied professionals who were not able to participate through their affiliated organizations were also invited to answer the public survey.