Procter and Gamble (P&G) Philippines has been fostering a culture of equality and inclusion for its employees through policies, practices, and programs that aim to enable its people to grow in their careers while having the space and support to be their unique selves.
While there is still a lot of work to be done in unleashing the potential of women in the workplace, it is certainly possible—and many companies like P&G continue to be progress towards that aspiration. Data from Grant Thornton International’s 2022 Women in Business report shows that 48 percent of senior management roles in the Philippines are held by women.
Globally, Philippines has the third highest number of women leaders in mid-size firms. One of the women helping P&G step up the campaign to promote equality and inclusion in the workplace is Atty. Mimi Lopez-Malvar.
Lopez-Malvar, who is now Director of Government Relations and Country Legal Head, has been with P&G for over 13 years. “When I came into this role and quickly met others in the same field, there was a perception that this industry was dominated by men who were either cold strategists or well-placed political animals. I was neither. But over the years, I am happy to have progressed in my career with my own brand of diplomacy and the right mix of patience and perseverance to see things through,” she said. Throughout the years, she never felt she had to change who she was to progress in her career.
Among her duties, she represents the company advocating issues critical to consumer goods and the manufacturing industry. She also helps the company broaden its socio-economic footprint in the country through programs and initiatives that help the environment, strengthen micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), promote children’s health and hygiene, and, more importantly, empower women and girls.
Working at P&G thankfully also allows her to have flexible work arrangements to be able to
balance work and her personal needs. “As a working mother, I benefited greatly from P&G’s generous policies such as extended parental leaves and flexible working hours, so I never had to miss family milestones.
The trusted consumer goods company has managed to bring its gender ratio in the workplace to an impressive 50-50 balance at the management levels—an impressive feat for any company, more so in an organization as huge as P&G.
This is not a new thing for P&G. Many have come before Lopez-Malvar, for whom she is thankful. Those women mentored her and showed everyone that there shouldn’t be a need to choose between being a wife, a mother, and having a corporate career. Atty. Mimi is keeping that torch alive for the next generation of P&G employees.
“I’ve seen personal and professional growth happen when (in the words of one of my bosses), we become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Over the course of my life and career, some of the best decisions I’ve made were those that forced me to push the envelope further. This often presents an opportunity for me to stretch and discover strengths I didn’t know I had in me,” she said.
It is this level of commitment by the multinational company that makes P&G a strong equality and inclusion champion in the country. Over the years, it has implemented industry-leading policies and practices that push for gender-equitable and inclusive practices.
“Many of our products are made exclusively for women and girls, and women buy or influence the purchase of virtually all the rest of our products. As our valued consumers, we have unique insights into their aspirations, motivations, and challenges. Through our advertising and programs, we want to shed light on what these challenges are in order to provoke thought, promote dialogue and inspire positive action,” she said.
Championing equality and inclusion in the workplace fosters a culture of respect and of inclusion, which strengthens an organization—and P&G exemplifies.