Breaking the glass ceiling

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Empowered lady executives in PH hotel industry

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“The dame who knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up.” – Mae West, American Vaudeville actress, playwright

WOMEN rule in the Philippines, and the Philippines rules when it comes to women empowerment.

It may sound sweeping, but statistics would attest to this fact. True, gender roles persist in Philippine culture. But Maria Clara has gone so far that gender equality seems to be not an issue anymore in this generation.

First off, the Philippines has had its women presidents, while world-power America has not. Not yet, at least.

Going by the numbers, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index for 2015 placed the Philippines at the highest rank among Asia Pacific countries and the seventh in the world, when it comes to gender equality.

The Philippines bested 144 countries, including first world United States, Switzerland, and New Zealand.

Global business services firm Grant Thornton International further affirms this fact in its Women in Business 2016 survey. The Philippines is second in the world—next to Russia and along with Lithuania—in the list of countries with the most number of women in senior corporate management roles.

One of the most challenging sectors for women executives is the hotel industry. While other countries find this sector as having a thick glass ceiling—an intangible barrier within a hierarchy that prevents women or minorities from obtaining upper-level positions, as defined by Merriam Webster dictionary—the Philippine hotel industry is graced with a good number of empowered lady executives.

These female executives have overcome the demands and rigors of the hospitality business, despite their indispensable roles as ladies of their own homes.

They may have different words for it, but the lady executives in the Philippine hotel industry basically share the same meaning of empowerment—being clear on their expectations, knowing what they are doing, loving it, and giving their best.

The Manila Times has talked to several lady executives in the Philippine hotel industry, all specifically from the marketing, public relations, and sales department. Thus, they are the faces of the establishments they represent: Nian Rigor, assistant vice president for public relations and corporate communications of The Manila Hotel; Michelle Garcia, director of marketing communications of Marriott Hotel; Shyline Bernardo, director of sales and marketing of City Garden Grand Hotel; and Melanie Pallorina, public relations manager of Diamond Hotel.

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