Why do we need to specify a month just to celebrate women? I never knew there was a month-long celebration and series of events until I got involved with the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines (WomenBIzPH), the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) www.womenincoffee.org and the GoNegosyo movement.
Some four years ago, Joey Concepcion even published a book just on women entrepreneurs. And Myrna Yao also published a book featuring Filipina-Chinese businesswomen. And recently we at WomenBizPH launched a book called Aspirations and Inspirations featuring all the Women Entrepreneur of the Year awardees from 2003 to 2011.
I think we make March special also because we do take a lot of women’s achievements for granted. And celebrating it for a month reminds all of us to thank all the women in our lives—our mother, our sisters, our bosses and our female workforce. We often take for granted that it is women who bring home more than 70 percent of their income to their households as compared to men who only bring back 40 percent. We take it for granted that many of us learned our skills and even inherit intelligent traits from our mothers.
So, this whole month, celebrate the beauty of women. And how they multi-task to be able to take care of their children while pursuing a career. How women comprise more than 50 percent of our small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and more so with micro enterprises.
And here we commend the Philippine Commission on Women, the Canadian International Development Authority (CIDA) for the Great Women Project, which they did for five years to teach LGUs about gender sensitivity, and finally finishing the project with the Great Women Brand together with ECHOsi Foundation headed by our dear friend Jeannie Javelosa.
On March 6, International Women’s Day we will be celebrating all over the world together with UN Women in New York at the Women’s Empowerment Principles Event. Here in the Philippines, WomenBIzPH will be celebrating with the 3rd Women’s Business Summit at the Mandarin Oriental and the IWCA International will be celebrating stories of Women in Coffee.
This month, we will also be celebrating the first anniversary of Women Corporate Directors-Philippine chapter. We gathered and organized ourselves last year and the founding members were inducted by no less than Susan Stautberg , Global co-chairman of this international body of independent women directors.
The 3rd Women’s Business Summit will feature Dr. Josette Biyo, scientist and who even has a planet named after her, where she will talk about Mentoring women at a young age.
We will also feature father and daughter tandem of Architect Jun and Karmi Palafox; husband and wife team of Noel and Gina Lorenzana; Inez Reyes who went from the Corporate World to Entrepreneurship; Sherisa Nuesa who has won awards as CFO and continues to contribute as Independent Director in Boards; Mel Alonzo who has served as CEO of Pag-ibig, Chair of SB Corporation and recently Director of BCDA; Issa Baron of Good Thinking and finally a special discussion on Asean Integration by no less than Amb. Delia Domingo-Albert and Director Rafaelita Aldaba of DTI. You can visit www.womenbiz.ph for more information.
On March 7, Go Negosyo will feature many women entrepreneurs who have made a difference in their communities and industries plus Senators Cynthia Villar and Grace Poe who have been supportive of women in business. This happens at the World Trade Center in Manila.
The rest of the month will be filled with many women-themed events and special gatherings. Just tune in to Twitter and your favorite news channel and I am certain you will not miss many women interviews and features on successful women who lead multi-faceted lives.
And if you are a woman, make sure you celebrate this month, too! Join a group to network with other women entrepreneurs and professionals. The Business and Professional Women Makati chapter meets monthly and is open to accept new members endorsed by its present membership. Find them on Facebook and Twitter as Women Stepping Up.
Stand up, lean in and step up!
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Chit Juan is the Founder and President of ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle located in Serendra , Podium and Centris malls.She is the President of Women’s Business Council of the Philippines and the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. She often speaks to corporates, academe and entrepreneurs about her advocacies: Social Enterprise, Women Empowerment and Coffee. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Twitter:Chitjuan , Instagram: CHITJUAN or Linked In: Pacita Juan.