FirstDibs by Amor Maclang • Published 28 April 2019

Empowering women to create a better place for all

When talking about girl power, it’s easy to distort this thinking into “girl-only” power. For so long, women have felt second-best, thanks to a long tradition of patriarchy.

And while that does not exempt those who are truly to blame, it does not mean we should think only of shifting the power to this corner of the ring. Rather, a good direction to take in this ever-changing and integrating world may be to remove the corners or even the entire ring altogether.

Women empowerment doesn’t have to about shifting powers—it’s about recognizing your own power to achieve heights that only you can reach. Because the truth is men and women are different, and this difference can be put to better use so everyone can benefit.

Take for example Pilipinas Shell’s Marvi Trudeau and her view about women’s sense of leadership. According to Trudeau, women are predominantly more likely to use touch and care in their leadership, and this gives the advantage of being accepted as nurturers into a community that one is helping.

“There’s a very big advantage to being a woman in the community because you can be personal,” stressed Trudeau. “I am very personal in that I hold people’s hands when we visit communities, and that’s a very womanly way of handling things. Because you are motherly, people are accepting of your presence.”

In the same way that most men can use swift decision-making and a logic-based authoritative approach to execute efficient action, women can use sensitivity to emotions and people as a way of rallying people to action. Some people can even do a little bit of both, and that gives another set of advantage. It’s all about using your different talents to achieve the right results.

Pilipinas Shell has been a prime example of women empowerment. The company has established the Women’s Network, which is its very own organization that gives women a niche to let their voices be heard. Though still a fairly young organization since its 2016 inception, the Women’s Network already embodies a number of Shell’s outlook and action towards equal opportunities in its various workplaces.

The Women’s Network cultivates different talents and attracts the strong independent women in Pilipinas Shell. Mother of three children, leader of a legal team, and top-brass Pilipinas Shell executive Atty. Jannet Cruz-Regalado is the epitome of Women’s Network’s many members. Even a strong, independent woman like her recognizes that a safe space like this network encourages women to reach their potential and be unafraid of voicing innovations that could improve Shell in general.

“We don’t want to be conscious about our positions, status in life, or education—in Women’s Network, it’s just us women being women, empowering each other in every way we can,” she shares.

In celebrating women’s power and progress in society, it’s best to remember that the goal is to raise them up without bringing anyone down. After all, women are known to be nurturers, and what better way to showcase this unique power than to raise a society that respects and utilizes different strengths for a brighter future.