Almost six months into bringing the original Eiffel Tower staircase for display at Ayala Malls Greenbelt, renowned French tea house Janat Paris mounted the very first Women of Eiffel Tower Awards in the country to recognize Filipina leaders and innovators.
The company, whose presence in Manila is only focused on strengthening cultural ties between France and the Philippines [they have neither opened a branch nor a shop for their delicate teas], is a longtime supporter of women’s rights and empowerment with the Foundation Femmes du Monde.
“The goal is to create a world where women can live a better life through the improvement of working and life environment. The foundation started its project in Sri-Lanka in the tea plantations in 2000 as 90 percent of workers in the tea plantations are women,” explained Femmes du Monde founder and president Maïté Bruneaud at the ceremony.
As such, the Women of Eiffel Tower Awards recognized 12 carefully chosen Filipinas whose courage and vision to change the future have made their indelible mark on society. They are Aisa Mijeno and Anna Oposa for Environment and Ecology; Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala for Health and Social; Alexandra Eduque and Clarissa Delgado for Education; Olivia d’Aboville for Creative and Art; Paloma Urquijo and the women behind Lanai, Bianca Zobel Warns, Natalia Zobel, and Maria Parsons for Retail and Consumer; Hindy Weber-Tantoco for Food and Beverage; and Erika Valerie Ng Wong for Young Entrepreneur.
“The Women of Eiffel Tower Awards is more than just an opportunity to train the spotlight on inspiring women and their work. It aims to encourage and empower other women professionals and entrepreneurs in the country to create solutions to contemporary local challenges,” noted Myrna Fernandez, Chief Operating Officer, Ayala Malls Group.
Finally, Bejit Dores, international president of Janat Paris who flew in for the special event, rounded up the toast and said, “Women are the backbone of a country and reflect the strength of it. In this endeavor, French and Filipino women come together to create a culture of freedom and support for women who are hesitant to climb the steps (of success) by helping them see their future without a glass ceiling. We are proud to introduce this year’s prestigious roster and we thank all our partners, most especially Ayala Malls Greenbelt, for joining us in this worthy and historic endeavor.”