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Now is best time to be a woman in ph

By: - Reporter / @neltayao
/ 12:02 AM March 20, 2017

Now is the best time to be a Filipino woman—and to be a role model to the young ladies poised to become the next generation of empowered Pinays.

These are just a couple of the most significant results of “Filipina Next,” the Philippine-based study by advertising agency J. Walter Thompson (JWT).

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It was inspired by the 2016 JWT Global research “Female Tribes,” a “proprietary insight study on women around the world,” which surveyed over 4,000 women between the ages of 18 and 70 across nine countries on their views on money, career, religion, sex.

Here in the Philippines, JWT conducted similar research, both qualitative and quantitative, among women of the same age group from all socioeconomic classes.

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In the international study, 76 percent of women said they felt that there has never been a better time to be a woman than now—something which Filipino women agreed with, based on the local research, said Golda Roldan, JWT Philippines managing director, at the launch of “Filipina Next” last March 8, International Women’s Day.

“It is astonishing to note that despite being believed that Philippines is a largely macho society, our local study saw that 85 percent of Pinays believe that there has never been a better time to be a woman [than today], while 96 percent find femininity as a strength [rather than a weakness],” Roldan added.

Ironically, though, the study also revealed that many Filipino women still see themselves as their “worst enemy,” and therefore have a tendency to hold themselves back from achieving their full potential.

“Filipina Next” was launched at a forum in Taguig City where a few power women shared their own insights on how women are leading the charge in various disciplines. The speakers included Globe Telecom senior vice president and head of consumer mobile marketing Issa Cabreira; Manulife Philippines senior vice president and chief marketing officer Melissa Henson; Johnson & Johnson country director for retail Tina Sabarre; Art Fair Philippines founder Trickie Lopa; CNN Philippines president Armie Jarin-Bennett; weightlifter and 2016 Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz; and Sen. Pia Cayetano.

According to the study’s results, it is this sort of women whom younger ladies look up to as role models.

In fact, 98 percent of the local respondents asserted the importance of representing more “strong and substantial” women in TV and film.

The majority—or 94 percent—also feel that more women should “step up” and become mentors to young girls.

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JWT is doing its bit in mentoring by establishing a new internship program for women called “Babaelang: A tribe of women for women,” taken from the word “babaylan,” said Roldan. The first batch of interns will begin their mentorship in JWT in June, and will be assigned to various functions in the agency, from creatives to account management to administration and finance.

“Our study shows that Filipinas want to be mentored and to mentor,” said Roldan.

Another highlight of the study, said JWT Philippines executive strategic planning director Pam Pacete-Garcia, was how almost half of the Filipino women surveyed cited “spiritual awareness” as a benchmark of success.

“This is the first study wherein I saw 47 percent of women cite spirituality [as a measure of their success], higher than the usual barometers—being able to start a business, having financial security,” said Garcia. “We asked them to explain, and they said that every successful Filipina, after saying how they were able to do what they did, will always thank God. It’s a cultural insight on Filipinas’ success.”

Other highlights of “Filipina Next”:

Almost 60 percent of the women surveyed said they would delay getting married or having children to be able to focus on their careers;

Across the Asia-Pacific region, Filipino women are least likely to experience sexism at work;

Filipino women are also most likely to worry about money compared to females from other Asia Pacific countries, but around 59 percent spend more than what they earn;

Pinays put more premium (68 percent vs the worldwide study’s 54 percent) on the time they allocate for themselves, or their “me” time;

Over 60 percent of Filipino women consider sexual fulfillment important; 70 percent agreed that such fulfillment isn’t just for the young;

Eighty-five percent said that technology empowered them while almost 90 percent said technology had given them a voice; but 95 percent of Pinays still felt that technology was made for men, by men.

“The reason why we do this is because it’s part of our DNA. We want to understand consumers because we want to help our partners and the brands and their businesses to create the right kinds of solutions and products, and [to help them understand] how their brands and products play in the lives of their consumers,” Roldan said. “Not in a forced way, but because it really answers a real need that will affect lives in a good way.”

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