According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report of 2015, the Philippines ranked 7 out of 145 countries, with a gender gap score of 0.790 (1.0 = equality and 0.0 = inequality). The full report is in this page: http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2015/economies/#economy=PHL I’m glad that gender equality isn’t that much of a problem here as it is in the rest of the world. But even with such a high ranking, I always wondered why is it that in the corporate world, and even now in the start up community, there are not a lot of female leaders and founders.
As Philstar mentioned in their article about the Filipina CEO Circle event that I, too, attended the other day, a recent survey conducted by KPMG R.G. Manabat & Co. among the top 1,000 corporations has shown that very few of these companies were led by women (only 68 out of the 770 companies that they contacted were led by Filipina CEOs). As I listened to some of the successful women in that conference, and as I thought about my other female friends and relatives (those who have achieved their goals and those who are still struggling), this is an insight that I have picked up that I want to share with you.
We need to think that we are Worth it!
Masyado tayong mabait (We are too nice!). Ever since we were young, we, ladies, have been taught to respect elders (parents, teachers, etc.). Like the men, we were taught to study hard and pursue our dreams. No one cornered us and taught us differently. No one said that ladies couldn’t do the different things that men did. No one told us that there was a limit to the opportunities that we could grab. We were never told that there was a limit to what we could do. It is “us” — we limit ourselves.
We don’t think we are capable of traveling alone. We think we should wait for that promotion to land on our laps, because asking for it might be too domineering. We should not speak our minds if we feel that we are not valued enough in a company, because that would be too rude. We think that we can’t say no to things that our family and friends ask of us, because it’s “rebelling” and not very polite, even if it means giving up important things like health and our biggest dreams. We think that we should all stay at home, take care of the kids, cook food, because that is what the society expects us to do. We almost always think we are not good enough for that opportunity that lands our way. Oftentimes, we say no.
Get this, all of these examples are based from real experiences and stories that I had with friends and family. Hey, some of these are also my experiences. These thoughts are, sad to say, real. We think these things. We continuously tell our friends and family about wanting all of these things for yourself, but we hesitate to make things happen. We think we are not worth it. Just recently, I came across a single friend who finally gained independence, and I was telling her of all the beautiful and amazing things that she could do. She was going on and on though about it being the first time that she was all alone. I told her to stop sulking, because if it were me in her position, I would probably be traveling the world and making all of my dreams a reality.
When was the last time you have thought about YOU? You may be in your 20s, 30s, or even in your 40s, going through your daily routine, but is what your doing really that something that you have dreamed of doing? Have you been brave enough to say YES to opportunities that come your way? Have you loved yourself lately? Have you done things that you have always wanted to do without feeling guilty? Have you just enjoyed and lived?
As Basha from the movie One More Chance would say, I want to stop wondering “what if” I want to know “what is”.
If you haven’t thought about these things, you should. You are worth it.
P.S. My friends and I started a group of women who support each other in accomplishing their goals. Visit is at http://beautybizbliss.com and please do sign up!