MANILA – It’s the 21st century but many women all over the world are still being discriminated against, socially and most especially, professionally. There is still that invisible glass ceiling in organizations that’s preventing some great women from getting that promotion or raise that they deserve simply because of their gender.
Fortunately, this phenomenon is more rampant in other Asian and Western nations than in the Philippines. And even if there is, these women who participated in Google and Cosmo Philippines’ International Women’s Day celebration, #WomenWill, are mercilessly breaking each one.
Dr. Vicki Belo
Dermatologist and CEO, Belo Medical Group
She was bullied as a kid because she wasn’t skinny like the other girls and because she had easily-irritated skin. This drove her to become a successful dermatologist so she can make herself and every other woman beautiful. Now the CEO of her own company, Belo Medical Group, Dr. Vicki Belo is now known as the Philippines’ no. 1 beauty expert and doctor to the stars, always the first in offering breakthrough dermatological services like laser treatments in the country.
Data Scientist, Founder and CEO, Thinking Machines
Stephanie Sy is one of the very few data scientists in the Philippines. She has had experiences working in Silicon Valley where some women are being discriminated against for choosing a career that some think are supposed to be for men like engineering and other tech professions. But Stephanie didn’t budge. She came home to the Philippines and set up her own data-mining company called Thinking Machines, now the one of the most well-known data companies in the country.
Programmer, CEO and Founder, Honesty Apps
Val Balance is so passionate about women that she made a dating app that’s created specifically for females. Val is also passionate about tech and apps so one app certainly is not enough. Now, she runs her own company that can make apps for clients in as fast as five minutes, thanks to a software that they themselves crafted.
Rosario Lapus, PhD
Education Expert, Gerontologist, President, Miriam College
As president of Miriam College, an exclusive girls school, Dr. Rosario Lapus is all about putting women first. In a school exclusively inhabited by girls, they are groomed to become leaders not just in conventional areas like home economics but are highly encouraged to go into the Math and Sciences through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). She has worked hard in making Miriam College a training ground for strong, successful women.
CEO, Team Asia
Monette Iturralde-Hamlin wears many hats. She’s the CEO of Team Asia. She’s also the chairman of the Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers, chairman of Hopkins International Partners, Inc. and a trustee and treasurer of the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines. She set up TeamAsia with little funding but with the help and trust she earned from investors, they were able to get the company running and pay back debts within one year. Now, TeamAsia is one of the most award-winning marketing communications firms in the Philippines.
Celebrity mom, Writer
Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio was one of the well-known actresses in the 90s. Nowadays, what’s keeping her busy are her family and her blog where she writes about women and motherhood. If there’s something that people don’t know about her, it’s her passion for writing. She said that if there’s anything that she would like to do her whole life, it would be to write. This passion has already turned into a published book, a feat that she never thought she would achieve.
Entrepreneur and CEO, Commune Cafe
Apart from being an enthusiast of Philippines coffee and CEO of collab place, Commune, Ros Juan is one of the most prominent figures in the digital sphere. She spearheaded #RescuePH which significantly helped authorities to identify victims of calamities that needed assistance. She has been one of the key people that’s making social media a tool for good.
Educator and Proprietor, Galileo Learning Centers
One of the Outstanding Women by the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network in 2016, Rowie Matti is an educator and CEO of Galileo Enrichment Learning Program, Inc, one of the country’s first learning centers that gives enrichment lessons in Singapore Math and financial literacy. She is passionate about improving the education system in the Philippines. As a member of the Google Educators Group (GEG), she work with other educators to help meet the needs of their students.
Celebrity mom, Youtube Creator
If you would look at #TeamKramer now, you’ll never thought that Chesca Garcia-Kramer used to be repulsed by social media. She didn’t want to create a Twitter or Instagram account because she feels like private moments aren’t supposed to be shared publicly. But because his husband, PBA player, Doug Kramer never stopped bugging her about it, she tried it out, picking out funny moments with her family that she thought wouldn’t hurt if she would share it to the world. Now, their family has become a role model to other families, and Chesca, to young moms who are also passionate about helping other moms.