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Magnifying the power of women helping women in the virtual workplace

Mental health expert Dr. Gia Sison and social enterprise Messy Bessy team up with TELUS International Philippines to honor the strength of women-focused support groups
/ 11:47 AM March 11, 2021

With the present business environment, engaging and supporting employees is an important aspect that pushes the creativity of various companies. Employee-related programs have shifted to online and virtual platforms to continue reaching people wherever they may be working and ensure that they feel fully supported while minimizing physical interaction for everyone’s safety.

In time for Women’s Month, TELUS International Philippines (TIP), a leading provider of customer experience (CX) and digital IT solutions, showcases its programs and activities to engage its team members, support the communities, and promote diversity and inclusion. The company likewise shared how women at work faced issues that have become more apparent due to the pandemic – from livelihood and financial stability to mental wellness, and personal development. 

“Our resource groups played a significant role as we shifted to a remote work set-up. For our team members, these resource groups served as strong support systems and paved the way for them to share their unique points of view and find similar experiences with each other,” said TELUS International Philippines Country Vice-President, Mirei Magallona. 

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Fostering inclusivity, wellness, and a sense of belonging

The Connections Women’s Network, TIP’s women-focused resource group, is one of the programs within the company that fosters an inclusive and diverse work environment. The group supports the needs and interests of team members who identify as female while supporting their professional and personal development.

Through resource groups like this, TIP is able to continuously enhance their company culture to grow a deeper  sense of belonging and acceptance. The initiatives led by the Connections perfectly illustrate how women working together, even remotely, can continue to provide support, encouragement, and open up new opportunities for others.

“Having that sense of belonging, of knowing that those around you accept you for who you are,  it’s a very liberating and exhilarating feeling. Being a part of a company with empowered women and with allies who all go the extra mile to help you succeed in your personal and professional life can greatly reduce stress, boost your confidence and resilience, and encourage rapport and collaboration in the workplace,” said Jonabee Beltran-Catura, Operations Director at TIP and Co-chair of Connections Women’s Network.

When it comes to mental wellness, an often overlooked aspect of an employee’s wellbeing, TIP strives to support team members through organizing classes in partnership with mental health experts. They’ve focused on mindfulness, balancing work and home life, mitigating isolation brought about by the pandemic, and boosting productivity when working from home. They’ve also organized talks and workshops to help female-identifying team members address unique concerns they may be facing during the pandemic. These workshops included homeschooling 101, breast cancer awareness, domestic violence, and budgeting for yourself and your family. Through these sessions, team members are able to apply what they learned to their current situations, which then benefits their work performance and overall disposition as they either continue to work remotely or for some, report back to the office for limited periods of time. 

This was specifically useful for working moms who needed help in balancing their responsibilities at home and at work, or to ease the stress and anxiety due to the current situation.

“During this time, it is crucial to create an accepting environment and for us to explore all means possible to build that. In understanding and empathizing with what women like you may be going through, it may contribute to you feeling lighter and supported. This can already spark meaningful connections that people crave as we have to be socially distant for now,” said Dr. Gia Sison, an  occupational medicine and mental health expert. 

Extending their women-supporting-women initiatives to the communities

Beyond the support that TELUS International Philippines provides their female team members, they also recognized the needs the pandemic further underscored for women in the communities. Last year, TIP launched a new corporate social responsibility program (CSR) called “Titapreneur”. Created to help women in underserved communities to find another stream of income and acquire new skills to put up their own small business or pursue a side hustle, Titapreneur was first launched with TELUS International Philippines’ long-time beneficiary, Gawad Kalinga.

Last year, twenty “titas” from Gawad Kalinga underwent four learning sessions and a soap making class, and have now kick-started their own mini businesses. After they went through the training, they presented their initial business plans during the culminating activity and exhibited learnings on business acumen, creativity, teamwork, financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills. 

“Because of Titapreneur we now have an alternative source of livelihood which can help augment our daily expenses, this is a big help to us”, said Elizabeth Moral, one of the Titapreneur beneficiaries from Gawad Kalinga. 

Corporate social responsibility initiatives like Titapreneur also provides team members in TELUS International Philippines with an opportunity to share their caring culture with others and volunteer for the good of the community. Last year alone, their team members positively impacted the lives of over 20,000 beneficiaries through a mix of virtual and in-person volunteering initiatives and donation drives.

Messy Bessy, an eco-friendly local brand known for their personal and homecare products, is another partner of TELUS International Philippines. Since 2018, TELUS International Philippines has been supporting the livelihood initiatives of Messy Bessy by procuring tokens and giveaways from this l brand.

“Women at TELUS International Philippines have a significant role to play in at work, at home, and in our communities. Since the pandemic began, many of our female team members also had to take on different roles – mothers, homeschoolers, breadwinners, caregivers, entrepreneurs and partners. These incredible women have done all that while continuing to deliver on our customer first promise. They are an exceptional force of nature that manages not only to support each other but to inspire the rest of our team members as well . And we are fully committed to continue developing programs that will allow our team members to feel embraced and push them to achieve their dreams and aspirations while creating an open and secure environment not just for women but for everyone else,” said Magallona. 

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