Meet the Women Leading the Flexible Life Movement
3/6/2020 | By Marella Gimenez
The Philippines’ disposition on women’s rights is considered to be comparatively developed in relation to other countries in Asia. Huge developments have been made over the years that have advanced the standing of Filipino women in society, especially in regards to education and employment. Women’s movements, women-led organizations, the growing numbers of educated women and women political representatives, and the bigger focus on women’s issues instituted under legislation have all led to the country’s progress on gender equality.
According to the recent 2020 Global Talent Competitiveness Index, the Philippines ranked 3rd out of 120 countries in the “leadership opportunities for women” category and 17th in the “gender development gap” category. Furthermore, with the increase of women representation in senior roles and the workforce in general, the country has climbed to the top and ranked first overall in the 2019 Gender Diversity Benchmark for Asia (GDBA). The country also has one of the smallest pay gaps between men and women at 10.2% less, one of the lowest pay gaps in the Asia-Pacific region.
With women making great strides in the professional world, outnumbering men in senior and leadership roles, and in professional and technical fields, KMC puts a spotlight on the team of women leaders leading the flexible life. In celebration of International Women’s month, the company has gathered insights and opinions from their women-dominated sales team on what it means to be a successful modern woman in today’s business landscape.
The Leading Women of Sales
The women of KMC’s sales team are the ones in charge of connecting clients with their ideal office set up or their own high-performing offshore team, expanding the company’s portfolio in the process. Despite the demanding work of providing the best flexible solutions to major companies and global brands, these women still find ways on practicing a flexible lifestyle that best suits them.
Evelyn Landas, Assistant VP for Staffing, Therese Hilario and Olivia Andrea Mendiola-Mozo, both Area Sales Managers, are all working mothers and realize the work it takes to balance both a family and career.
When asked how they could possibly do it all Evelyn states it's all about time management, “It's a lot of sacrifice during weekdays. I've been extremely blessed to have a supportive and understanding husband and daughter who understand my demanding work schedule. I tend to skip a lot of family and school events if these are scheduled on weekdays but I make sure to devote my weekends to family, fitness and other fun activities.”
While Therese reminds us that when one truly puts passion into their work it becomes easy to embrace even the messy bits of life, “With my growing career, being a wife and a mother of 2, having to balance my personal and professional life can be quite overwhelming. What really helps me is planning ahead and keeping my schedule, having a good support system and finding dedicated time for myself and for my family. Of course, being passionate about everything I do, passion towards work and enjoying the messy yet fulfilling life of motherhood and everything would naturally just fall into place.”
Andrea has found that simply being present and finding a purpose for the things she does helps her have a healthy mindset in achieving balance, “I constantly remind myself that everything I do has its own equal purpose - that we all work to reach certain life goals, that I need to keep healthy to live long for those I love, that I need to ensure our home is in order because this is where my family thrives. And because I am blessed to have all these amazing things (and people!) in my life, I have one job overall - to show up and always give my best.”
On the other hand, Valentina Incognito, who started out at KMC as an Account Manager, has excelled and made her way up to Head of Growth and Expansion, allowing her with more flexible hours and giving her the ability to schedule work-related activities around her personal life and her passion for sports.
Rose Anne Hilaire, who has had a similar experience of rising through the ranks and becoming a Sales Area Manager fairly quickly, attributes KMC entrusting her with a team to look after as one of her notable professional achievements. She admits to having let work take over other aspects of her personal life but notes that it is never too late to make a concerted effort in having a better work-life balance, which she hopes to achieve this year.
Charisma Vicuna, another KMC Area Sales Manager, is also an athlete and has honed the discipline to continue on her physical fitness journey even when the hours at work make it difficult for her, “I’m an athlete and ever since, no matter which company I work with, I manage my time with work-life-balance. Working with KMC can take so much of your time. Sometimes, we work on weekends and we even work if we’re re on a holiday - work never stops. With all of these, I really make time for the things that I love and keeps me sane – sports and travel. On a normal weekday, even if I have so much to do, I get out of the office at 6:00pm then go to training. After my training around 8:30pm, that’s the time I check my emails again and respond if needed. Whenever I know I’ll be staying up late in the office, I would do morning training instead. Wake up 6am then go to work. It’s not easy, but it’s doable.”
Paving the Way
As the number of women leaders continue to grow and diversify the workplace, this sets the stage for future generations in getting proper visibility and exposure to leadership opportunities. Long gone are the days where a woman is underestimated merely because of her gender. Any forward-thinking, innovative, success-driven, and culturally responsible workplace knows that a true measure of excellence is in one’s skill and work ethic, no matter the gender. KMC will continue on its journey in empowering women and ensuring that they all have a level playing field towards their personal growth and professional journey.