SEVEN companies committed to promoting gender equality have tied up with a womens’ organization to put together manuals and tool kits that will help prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
The Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE) has joined forces with Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran (SPARK!)in producing toolkits to help private sector companies prevent and manage cases of sexual harassment.
PBCWE is a coalition Accenture, Ayala group, Convergys, Magsaysay Group of Companies, Natasha, SGV and Co., and SSI Group. The initiative is organized in cooperation with the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Investing in Women Initiative.
“Sexual harassment in the workplace creates a negative impact on efforts to increase the number of women in the work force and women leaders in business,” PBCWE Co-Chair Ma. Aurora D. Geotina-Garcia said.
SPARK! President Imelda M. Nicolas said if women feel safer in their work environment, they could learn to maximize their abilities.
“When we create a safer workplace for women, one free of possible sexual harassment, we hope to witness the release of the full potential of women in their careers and at work,” she said.
The toolkits will be produced as guides for companies and workers on appropriate measures for handling sexual harassment issues in their work place. Modules of this project will be distributed among companies partnered with PBCWE. Other companies interested in the advocacy may also tap the project’s resources.
Ms. Geotina-Garcia, who also chairs PhilWEN, said, “We talk a lot about empowering women, but we should also take the practical steps to protect them in their place of work.” — Gillian M. Cortez