#WHIPIT: A forum on gender bias today

Register here for limited slots: Rappler, together with Pantene, hosts a forum on November 26 to present the results of a study regarding women's issues

MANILA, Philippines – In every place of power in the Philippines, a woman has made her mark.

We’ve had two presidents, numerous CEOs, successful business owners, and leaders in every field from media to academics. Even industries like infrastructure and information techonology – spaces believed to be dominated by men – are now starting to see women rise up the ranks to top posts.

Throughout history, the Filipina has established her identity as a powerful, tenacious, and resilient member of society.

But for every woman who makes it to the top, many continue to face challenges in their daily lives. Double standards still exist. Women still report discrimination in the workplace. Statistics on domestic violence against women continue to rise. (READ: Women who beat the odds)

In theory, women can now choose who they want to be. But they are not always empowered enough to reach their full potential.

Where does the tension lie, and what should women – and men – do to change the status quo?

On Tuesday, November 26, Rappler, together with Pantene, will host a forum entitled “#WHIPIT: Women beating the odds.” We will present the results of a new survey on women.

We surveyed men and women in the National Capital Region regarding their views about the choices women make – like choosing family over work, taking care of their appearance, and occupying top positions in politics. The results might surprise you.

To react to the survey, we will host a forum featuring powerful women in their respective fields. They will share their own experiences in battling stereotypes and suggest how we can all work together to create a more equal society for everyone – regardless of gender.

Our speakers will include (in alphabetical order):

Felicia Atienza studied Finance at the prestigious Wharton School before joining JP Morgan. She was director at Meryll Lynch International when she bravely orchestrated its first ever management buy-out (along with two other colleagues) in 2001 and turned its Philippine office into a new company – Philippine Equity Partners Inc. – where she remains an independent director. Mid-career, she switched to education. Felicia is the founder and president of the Chinese International School Manila, the first internationally-accredited campus in the Philippines to offer comprehensive Mandarin classes for K-12 students.


Natashya Gutierrez is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, a one-woman news team who writes, shoots, and edits her own stories when she’s on the field. She covers political and sports stories, staking out at Senate halls and trailing boxing legends all for the sake of the news. As a former swimmer and football player, she competed in various countries across Southeast Asia and at youth tournaments in Europe with the Philippine delegationShe graduated cum laude from Yale University in 2010 with a degree in psychology, and as a Yale Journalism Scholar. In college, she worked with various publications, and was co-editor-in-chief of the Yale Journal of Human Rights.


Samira Gutoc is a prominent voice in the Philippine Musim community. Like other Muslim women, she lived with the unique position of being a minority within a cultural minority. She became the first lady president of the UP Muslim Students’ Association and the Metro Manila-wide Muslim Youth and Students Alliance. As a champion for bridging Muslim and Western cultures, she has worked with an array of stakeholders for more than 17 years as a journalist, manager, consultant, environmentalist, trainer, activist, and organizer. For her efforts, Samira was one of the 2001 TOYM Awardees for Youth and Leadership in Social and Cultural Development.


Karrie Ilagan is a woman leading in the male-dominated world of information technology. She was the first Filipina to be appointed as managing director of Microsoft Philippines, where she oversees the company’s overall business growth and is focusing her efforts on driving strategic partnerships and alliances and growing the sales and marketing operations for Microsoft in the Philippines. Karrie also sets an example for other multinational businesses by pushing Microsoft to partner with local start-ups and enterprises. 


Giselle Tongi chose to define her own journey as an artist. A successful film and television actress, she left the height of stardom in seach of more. She wanted to learn the discipline of a craft so she studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York and became a union member of the Screen Actor’s Guild of America. After giving birth to her daughter, she returned home to the Philippines. Todayshe continues to act for theater and is exploring a new world: covering events and arts stories for Rappler. As a women’s rights advocate, she works closely with Likhaan, a Manila-based NGO that aims to uplift the plight of Philippine women’s reproductive health.


The forum will be moderated by Ana P. Santos, Rappler’s regular contributor for topics on women’s sexual rights. She has received several awards for her reportage on HIV, AIDS, and other public health issues. Aside from her advocacy on promoting sexual education, she also writes actively about single parenthood, working mom’s legal rights, and entrepreneurship.



The program will also include the launch of a movement to encourage Filipinas to shine boldly, be the best that they can be, and to not let prejudice and labels hold them down. Rappler will live blog and live stream the event. This is an invite-only event, but 75 slots will be open to the public. Guests who have already confirmed via e-mail do not need to sign-up. Register using the module below, and watch out as we post more updates.  Rappler.com

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