She Talks Asia Summit 2024: Breaking stereotypes and barriers for women everywhere | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Iza Calzado Wintle, Bianca Gonzalez, and Lynn Pinugu led the inspiring She Talks Asia summit with its first ever co-chair Karen Davila

She Talks Asia summit’s co-founders Iza Calzado Wintle, Bianca Gonzalez, and Lynn Pinugu led the inspiring event with its first ever co-chair Karen Davila

She Talks Asia celebrated Women’s Month with the 2024 She Talks Asia Summit themed “Breaking Stereotypes”. In an inspiring daylong conference, women were provided an intimate environment to learn from speakers from various fields and industries on how to challenge systemic biases and co-create spaces where more women can thrive. The event is co-presented by Uniqlo, Globe, and GCash, with participation from Happy Skin.

She Talks Asia co-founders Lynn Pinugu, Bianca Gonzalez, and Iza Calzado Wintle were joined by UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Karen Davila as She Talks Asia Summit’s first ever co-chair. In her keynote, Davila invited the attendees to introspect on moments where women have been the foremost proponents of harmful stereotypes against other women. “The truth is, women are hardest on other women. Challenge yourself: What role do I play in these stereotypes?” Karen said.

A highlight of the event was the presence of former Vice President Atty. Leni Robredo, who, in a deeply moving fireside chat with She Talks Asia CEO Pinugu, implored the audience to fight against feelings of hopelessness and disillusionment by concentrating on the larger battle for equality and empowerment. “Remember there’s a bigger fight ahead. Drown out the noise and focus on what we need to do,” she said. Robredo also highlighted how important it is for parents to lead by example at home in order to dismantle ingrained biases against women. “It’s not what we tell them but what we show them.”

She Talks Asia CEO Lynn Pinugu with former Philippine Vice President Atty. Leni Robredo
She Talks Asia CEO Lynn Pinugu with former Philippine Vice President Atty. Leni Robredo

During a panel focused on dismantling stereotypes faced by women, top photographer Shaira Luna recounted her personal journey of defying societal expectations. Once labeled a “gifted kid” and projected to become one of the country’s youngest doctors, Luna chose instead to carve out her own distinct path. “I have to make a decision: Do I continue to please everyone who’s watched me all throughout the years, do I give them what they want? Or do I give myself time, for the first time, to explore?” Her story served as a powerful testament to the importance of self-discovery and authenticity over societal approval.

In a segment in partnership with Uniqlo entitled “Break Barriers, Celebrate Freedom,” actress and advocate Jasmine Curtis-Smith encouraged women to revisit their internal dialogues and reframe the guilt that women feel about prioritizing their well-being. “This is my time. So I will give it to myself—not you, I will actively give it to myself.” The participants were then asked to join interactive breakout sessions with workshops on styling techniques for authentic self-expression, making conscious choices for their well-being, and navigating their career paths with a sense of freedom.

The summit also involved interactive breakout sessions and workshops
The summit also involved interactive breakout sessions and workshops

Gilda Maquilan, GCash VP for corporate communications and public affairs, challenged the mindset that care work should be free. “There is value on the amount of time, competency, and effort that women put in taking care of other people. We need to start putting value on unpaid care work.” Research indicates that in the Philippines, Filipino women disproportionately shoulder unpaid care responsibilities, facing the dual pressure of managing household duties and care work alongside their full-time employment.

In a panel discussion sponsored by Globe, titled “#SheCan,” Denise Oyog, head of events at TEG Group of Companies, delved into her journey into the gaming industry. She emphasized why it’s important to take up space in male-dominated fields and interests, even if means going against the grain, “You owe it to yourself to be passionate about something. That’s when you’ll find your authentic voice. Do not be embarrassed to show what you’re passionate about.”

Motivational speaker Larra Francesca Lasam recounted a moving tale of survival, detailing her harrowing escape from a bathroom fire that inflicted third-degree burns across her face and body when she was only 11 years old. Instead of succumbing to despair and adopting a victim mindset, Lasam chose to view her ordeal through the lens of purpose, contemplating deeply on how this trial could serve a greater role in her life’s journey. “Transcendence is a process of going through the pain.” Lassam challenged the audience to reflect on their own life: “How will you use your alchemy of perspective so you become a phoenix from the ashes of your fires?”

Motivational speaker Larra Francesca Lasam
Motivational speaker Larra Francesca Lasam

Actress Eugene Domingo encouraged women not to be dictated by society’s timeline when it comes to love. Apart from unlearning the misconception that there’s an expiry date or set age when women should settle down, she emphasized that women shouldn’t believe they will only be “complete” if they have a partner by their side. “You, yourself, are already complete. You, yourself, are powerful. You, yourself, should decide: ‘I am happy today, I will be happy tomorrow.’”

Eugene Domingo and Iza Calzado Wintle
Eugene Domingo and Iza Calzado Wintle

In its eighth year, She Talks Asia’s commitment to fostering dialogue and supporting women’s issues has only deepened, with 100 percent of ticket proceeds dedicated to a scholarship fund for girls through Mano Amiga Philippines. This initiative underscores the summit’s ongoing dedication to education and empowering the next generation, having raised P1.9 million for the cause since 2017.

For more information on the She Talks Asia Summit, find She Talks Asia on Instagram and Facebook or visit their website.

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