Top (L-R): PBCWE Co-Chairperson Boots Garcia, AIC President and CEO Cosette Canilao Bottom (L-R): AIC First Vice President for Human Resources and Administration Cindy Rivera, and PBCWE Executive Director Julia Abad
Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC), the infrastructure arm of the Aboitiz Group, is the newest member company to join the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE). The virtual membership signing ceremony held on March 7, 2022 was led by PBCWE Co-Chairperson Boots Garcia, AIC President and CEO Cosette Canilao, AIC First Vice President for Human Resources and Administration Cindy Rivera, and PBCWE Executive Director Julia Abad.
Established in 2017, PBCWE is the inaugural project of the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN) in partnership with Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government. AIC joins the 19 member companies in leading efforts towards building a business case for gender equality, creating knowledge on best practices in the workplace, communicating the benefits of empowering women in the workforce, and institutionalising policies based on best practices.
“Aboitiz InfraCapital is proud to be a part of the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment. This is in line with our commitment to further empower women and promote equality in the workplace. Conscious and unconscious bias should be eliminated and women should be allowed to flourish and achieve their utmost potential in any field, in any workplace,” said Canilao.
“Glass ceilings should be broken effortlessly, glass cliffs should be overcome easily, until both are extinct. We can only achieve this by being deliberate and articulate in the policies that we put in place. With the support of evidence-based data, it is my hope that more progressive, proactive and bold policies will emerge to allow female genius to flourish,” she added.
As the newest member of PBCWE, AIC commits to increase the participation of women, institutionalise gender-neutral policies, close the gender pay gap, if any, and influence their peers in the infrastructure development industry and their network. Part of AIC’s membership package is to undergo the Gender Equality Assessment, Results and Strategies (GEARS), a tool developed in partnership with Investing in Women. GEARS provides companies with the information and resources necessary to start the change process towards gender equality. It evaluates the company’s current gender equality strategies, plans future gender equality objectives, and tracks their progress over time.
“We, at PBCWE, celebrate and value Aboitiz InfraCapital’s commitment to ensuring gender-equal workplaces. Being part of this Coalition is bringing the workplace gender equality and diversity & inclusion advocacies to the next level – that is evidence-based, people-centric and champion-directed”, said Ma. Aurora “Boots” Geotina-Garcia, PhilWEN Founding Chairperson and President, and PBCWE Co-Chairperson.
Leading the workplace gender equality and sustainability agenda, AIC adopts the #OneAboitiz Sustainability Framework that ensures human capital development and people-focused programs are reflected in all of its business units. The Aboitiz Group, as a whole, supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG #5: Gender Equality, and upholds the UN Global Compact (UNGC) Principles on Human Rights and Labor. In January 2021, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. joined as the first holding company to become a member of PBCWE.
AIC’s Management Committee has strong representation, with 6 out of 11 members being women
AIC celebrates gender equality in the workplace as demonstrated by women’s strong representation in its leadership team. In addition to being President and CEO of AIC, Canilao also sits as Director in the AIC Board with Ana Aboitiz-Delgado. Aboitiz-Delgado, a fifth-generation business leader from the Aboitiz family, concurrently serves as executive vice president and chief customer experience officer at Union Bank of the Philippines. Likewise, AIC’s Management Committee has strong representation, with 6 out of 11 members being women. AIC’s team members are almost evenly split — about 46% are women, while 54% are men.
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