Manila, Philippines – March 2019. Imagine a workplace where women are not only valued, they are empowered to be the best they can be. Welcome to Mondelez Philippines. Home to not only delicious snack products, but to amazing women leaders as well.
As a Company that aims to empower people to snack right, this vision translates to its winning growth culture. All around the world, the people of the Company are passionate about bringing you the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way. Empowering its people to accomplish this begins inside, with a focus on diversity and inclusion. Mondelez Philippines believes that diversity must be about more than gender however. It’s about respect for and appreciation of diversity of culture, experience, and ideas.
In Mondelez Philippines, 71% of its people who hold leadership roles are women. That’s an inspiring number, and one that the Company is proud of. “Our global focus as a Company is to ensure that our leadership reflects the diversity of our workforce and consumers; that we grow an inclusive workplace for all,” shares Richard Stone, Director for HR, Mondelēz International in South East Asia (SEA).
“We believe that any business plan is only as good as the culture that brings it to life. That’s why across our locations in SEA like the Philippines, we are doing a lot of things to develop and grow female leaders. These include establishing a female talent watch list to help women grow into leadership roles, measuring female representation in our business scorecard, ensuring diversity among candidates for an open position, and increasing awareness on unconscious bias.” The latter is beginning to gain more focus in the Company, with its senior leaders and HR undergoing learning to improve self-awareness on biases we may have, which could affect how we treat and interact with different people.
Together, these initiatives to help grow women leaders have proven effective and beneficial. What’s more, out of the women leaders in the Philippine organization, 80% are mothers too. This proves that women can have both a successful career and home life if they want to.
Creating a culture where women are nurtured
Among the many women leaders in Mondelez Philippines are Michelle Gan-Reyes and Maussie Gonzalez, who both hold regional roles and are both moms too. Gan, as she is referred to, is the Category Manager for Meals Equity and Innovation for SEA. As she shares, Mondelez Philippines creates an environment where women are not only made welcome but are empowered to become leaders. “Mondelez Philippines not only makes it a point to encourage women leaders, it defines it as part of the Company’s goals, to clearly and effectively measure this across the organization,” she explains. “Truth be told, the Company is filled with inspiring women, across various positions and levels in the organization. We enjoy a culture that is empowered and positively impacts the way people work with each other and how women effectively deliver on business goals. I don’t feel any added pressure from the organization because I am a woman. In fact, the Company makes me feel even more positive about being a woman and being able to contribute to a great place in many ways amazing women can.”
Maussie is the Company’s Business Integrity Officer for SEA. She agrees with Gan saying, “Yes, I feel that there is a great diversity of people, talent and cultures in the Company. I believe that this has been very beneficial to the Company in that it has allowed more ideas, creativity and innovation in its strategies and operations. The Company thrives on the unique amalgamation of these differing inputs from its people.”
She adds that in her line of work, this focus on diversity has been very empowering. “As a compliance and integrity practitioner, the Company’s unwavering direction and action plans geared towards developing and maintaining a culture where compliance and integrity are given equal importance as achieving targets, has enabled me to achieve both personal and professional growth.”
Adds Gan, “What I’ve experienced to be helpful in my career is the genuine support I’ve received from my colleagues and leaders in the organization and the acknowledgment of a need to be challenged and to continuously grow in what I do and contribute to the success of the Company. I’ve been fortunate to work with leaders who take my development seriously, who express genuine care, and who balance this very well with my own aspirations and personal goals.”
Enabling Women at Work and Home
Gan continues that Mondelez Philippines enables women through various means to achieve their career goals without having to sacrifice their home life. “The Company has made clear strides to enable women to carry out their work effectively, while being cognizant of the realities and demands of motherhood and their key role in the family. We are encouraged to be open about what we have to attend to and be able to do so, freely, while making arrangements to ensure delivery of the work in some other way or timing.” These include the implementation of a work-from-home policy and extension of its maternity policy to 120 days as early as 2017.
Maussie adds, “The Company allows remote working for people whose responsibilities do not require them to be present in the office at all times. In my case, since my work covers South East Asia, I have the privilege to work from home as needed. This allows me flexibility in managing my time with my family and work requirements.”
In our world today, embracing diversity is not only important, it can help create growth when different experiences come together. The stories from Mondelez Philippines show that giving women an important place and role in the Company not only helps create empowered leaders, but fosters an environment where people are encouraged to be the best they can be.