• Femine figures thrive in masculine industries

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    Zita diez balogo, heads of construction solutions company’s cement plant in davao, is among the women who now play important roles in ‘traditionally masculine’ industries

    Zita diez balogo, heads of construction solutions company’s cement plant in davao, is among the women who now play important roles in ‘traditionally masculine’ industries

    AS more women join the labor force, they are steadily breaking into traditionally masculine industries and proving themselves more than capable in doing jobs that were first strictly assigned to men.

    Construction solutions company Holcim Philippines Inc. is among those embracing this trend, seeing value in increased diversity.

    Currently, the company’s Communications and Corporate Affairs, Marketing, Legal, Health and Safety, Security, and Organization and Human Resources departments are led by women.

    Women also play key roles in brand’s operations, with a woman heading its Davao plant and ladies holding line management jobs in its ready-mix concrete and aggregates business.

    Overall, about 20 percent of the company’s workforce is female and it is looking to raise this to 30 percent by 2030, in line with the Lafarge Holcim Group’s diversity goals.

    Some of the women blossoming in what others could see as a man’s world, gladly shared their stories in the hopes of inspiring other ladies to reach for and achieve their dreams in whatever field they choose.

    Among them is Catherine Joy Guinto, who started as an administrative assistant five years ago and rose above the ranks. She is now the production manager of the brand’s ready-mix concrete plants nationwide.

    “I was then the youngest and only female member of the ready mix concrete production team. It was challenging at first, because I felt I had to constantly prove myself. But my colleagues were very supportive, always sharing their knowledge and pointing out where I can improve. They made me confident in my job and helped me reach my goals,” she said.

    Another one is Steph Frogoso, currently technical assistant to the head of Cement and Industrial Performance, who shared that she has begun her journey to become plant manager due to the support of her superiors.

    “I was a geologist for four years, when the former head of the Manufacturing department launched a ‘Plant Manager’s Journey’ program to encourage young employees to consider this role. He shared how he once headed quarrying operations in another country which inspired me to go for it as well. That we have a female plant manager, Zita Balogo, also made me confident.”

    For Ann Somera, head of the Large Infrastructure Projects unit, the company is a nurturing and meritocratic organization that provides opportunities to those that deserve it.

    Somera shared that one of her most rewarding work assignments is leading a project to build better roads in partnership with the Department of Public and Works and Highways.

    “I believe there is an opportunity to make a difference in the country through infrastructure development. I’m glad I had the opportunity to work with men and women of the Public Works sector who live and breathe public service,” she said.

    Lastly, May Escalicas, Corporate Social Responsibility Officer for the Davao Plant, points the value that women bring to a masculine company aside from technical know how.

    “I have been drawn to the culture of giving back and fell even more in love with the corporate social responsibility (CSR) team of our plant when it catered to the communities that I care for. Personally, I think women bring a sense of kalinga. I believe that aside from technical knowledge, the care and passion for community is important in CSR,” she said.

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