By Hannah Mallorca
Features Writer, The Philippine STAR

At present, women are rising to top positions in their respective industries. However, a 2019 survey conducted by McKinsey discovered that despite their achievements in the workforce, women are still underrepresented at every level

In the past, much of the labor force has been confined to specific gender roles, which has affected various industries. Even if the world has progressed much since then, women still face occupational sexism and inequality at work.

It’s important for organizations to empower female employees during this time. According to the online learning platform Bizlibrary, companies and leaders can support women by improving gender diversity, celebrating their accomplishments, prioritizing professional development, closing pay gaps and accepting individuality.

To discuss women’s identity in the workplace, The Philippine STAR’s CareerGuide shared insights on how various industries can empower women. The online discussion featured Remote Staff co-founder Rica Jankulovski and TaskUs VP for Business Development Victoria Alcachupas.

Balancing between career and life

One of women’s strengths lies in her ability to multitask. Despite this, Ms. Jankulovski stressed the importance of balancing a woman’s career and personal life.

“As a woman, I think career should be part of life, not separate. A balanced life makes me really happy. Having that balance between having time with my family and doing something that makes an actual difference to the community I belong to or care about makes me happy,” she added.

For Ms. Alcachupas, understanding her purpose as a career professional helps a woman manage her priorities at work and life.

“It’s not just understanding why we are doing this, mas importante sa amin ‘young impact na ginagawa namin kasi nakakatulong kami to change the lives of the people working for us and ‘yung family nila,” she said. “And it’s not just fulfilling for me, but also for the entire team.”

Leading a team

According to Ms. Jankulovski, she prioritizes her personal values whenever she leads her team and fulfills her tasks. Even if workplaces have its own problems, she stressed that bosses and employees must work towards finding a solution.

“All you have to do is to declare the objectives of your team, what you’re aiming for and what you are trying to achieve. It’s also important to align the values that you have,” Ms. Jankulovski said. “We have a goal and focus, and we have to be honest with each other. We have to know that not all of us are perfect, that’s why we all have a team because we’re here to help each other.”

Employment opportunities for women

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected various industries worldwide. As a result, many organizations have transitioned into the work-from-home (WFH) set-up to cope. For Ms. Alcachupas, WFH is an opportunity for women to showcase their skills.

“We see many companies take advantage of the WFH setup. For women, it’s a perfect time to shine, it’s a matter of choice on where to put your energy,” she said. “There are lots of opportunities, especially in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, that are open during this pandemic.”

Ms. Alcachupas added that she prioritizes talent and capability in scouting for potential employees, contrary to the stigma against women.

“Based on my experience, more than 50 percent of our workforce are women and marami diyan are working mothers,” she shared. “We promote diversity and inclusion so more than just mothers, we’re open to the LGBTQ+ community and persons with disabilities.”

Why going digital is an advantage for women

For Ms. Jankulovski, the digital landscape is helpful for mothers since they prioritize their careers and family life. Online workspaces provide more options for women to do their daily tasks within their own pace.

“The post-pandemic era and even the digital landscape give women more options to stay at home and have an option to do more task-based roles. Any knowledge-based work can work remotely,” she added.