Author: Monna Eve Señara
When it comes to women empowerment, the Philippines is leading the world with the highest number of women legislators, senior officials, and managers among other countries in the Catalyst 2013 survey. The country’s 53.3% was followed by the United States, where women comprise 42.8% of positions in the same fields. Hong Kong (29.5%), Netherlands (27.5%), and United Arab Emirates (9.9%) placed lowest in the list.Ranking as one of the top five countries with the most women managers for the past 20 years, the Philippines has truly seen the strengths of women in leadership and management and has effectively tapped them.
The country ranked fourth in the number of women holding senior and middle management positions with 47.6% according to the 2015 United Nations report. Jamaica (59.3%) and Colombia (53.1%) topped the list, while United States lagged behind at 15th place (42.7%). United Kingdom was further down the list with 34.2% at 41st place.
I think what is unique in the Philippines is their culture that is able to appreciate women more and regard them in high esteem.
This is evidenced by their high percentage of women managers, the election of two female presidents, and not to mention their apparent devotion to their mothers and the women in their families.
Because they know how important women are and their contributions to the family and the society as a whole, they are able to acknowledge their strengths and allow them to use those skills in the various fields they engage in, especially in the business world.
Increase in the number of women leaders has been an important element in the development of businesses and organizations, showing openness and widening opportunities that yield more benefits.
Women truly have so much to offer the industry, if given the right opportunity.
Their keen financial eye, superior interpersonal relations, and effective communication skills are definitely characteristics needed for effective managers. These indispensable strengths have proven to be valuable in any company.
In Finance Industry
In 2012, 64% of Filipinas in senior management were either chief finance officers or holding senior finance positions. This is no surprise as it is the norm in Filipino households to have women manage the family’s finances.
From groceries, children’s allowances, to family vacations, mothers have the budget all figured out.
Women also display this exceptional skill in finance management of big corporations. Mary Callahan Erdoes, CEO and head of JP Morgan Asset Management Division, handles more than $2 trillion in assets. Her 4 years of leadership and a total of 17 years of contribution in the same division has been a source of stability and dependability for the company in an industry where reliable returns are a constant battle.
Erdoes is just one of the powerful forces in finance with a lot more women across America emboldening their companies with their financial management expertise. Women can offer insights and experiences unique to them that are very much relevant in business especially when it comes to money.
It has been shown that women’s strategies and approach to financial management lead to more firm and consistent results.
Women are widely considered more nurturing and more in touch with their emotions than men are. This may be perceived as a weakness, but when women bring positive emotions they can become powerful. When women are optimistic, they are very much effective in diagnosing a problem, formulating a plan, and implementing it.
Because most women have generally substantial experience with taking care of children, they can have advantageous skills in managing and disciplining. They are keen on the capabilities and limitations of particular persons and at the same time can establish a strong rapport with them. With their superior ability in reading nonverbal signs, they can accurately assess the people, surroundings, and other factors, and in turn determine implications from them.
They can delegate tasks appropriately and apply correction effectively when necessary. This is a skill that can bring out the best from employees and develop their potential, which in the long run will not just benefit them but the whole company as well. Leadership involves dealing with a few people to a whole organization.
Being accustomed to collaborative work and coordination, women can certainly lead with such advantage.
Because of women’s biological make-up, they are better disposed to expressing themselves and their emotions. They are able to speak their thoughts more openly and communicate using outward expressions and body language. Though it is commonly viewed as out of place in the corporate world, their strength in this aspect of communication brings profound contributions to the processes and relationships in an organization.
On the other hand, their being expressive is not a one-way street. They can speak from their emotions but they also have a higher degree of sensitivity to the emotions of others. This contributes to better communication towards their colleagues, superiors, and subordinates.
They give attention to details such as facial expression and gestures that help them in understanding people better. Through this, they can respond to co- workers in more helpful and suitable ways, making their influence a strong and unique force. This makes communication clearer and more engaging resulting to enriched interpersonal relationships and an overall more productive team and organization.
Women still have so much more to offer the business world. Knowing they are significant and indispensable individuals, our society must give more support and understanding to the needs and circumstances unique to women in order to open more deserved opportunities and to encourage them in pursuing a progressive career in the corporate world.
This means providing benefits, considerations, and flexible work arrangements especially for women who are also balancing priorities as mothers.
European countries also are now making tangible moves to assure women are not disregarded in the boardroom. Germany, for instance has followed in the footsteps of countries such as Italy, Norway, France, and Spain, in implementing a quota policy that will require 30 percent of non-executive board seats to be filled by women. While the European Confederation of Directors Association agrees that there should be more women in the boardroom, they also stressed that women should be appointed not just as compliance to the quota, but because of their qualifications. Rest assured, women are more than up to the task, with their many exceptional and reliable managing skills. With such conducive policies and working environment for women, more nations could be joining the Philippines in empowering women leaders. The world of business would certainly benefit from a society where it is possible and desirable to appoint women in high offices, entrust them big organizations, and even to submit to their corporate authority.