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Raising a business and three children, the Doris Magsaysay-Ho way

MANILA, Philippines — Doris Magsaysay-Ho calls the shipping industry a man’s world.

Despite this, she is CEO of the Magsaysay Group, which is involved in providing shipping, logistics and human resource services.

Her father Robert Ho, who founded the company, always believed that his three daughters and two sons had the same leadership potential and entrepreneural ability, and gave each his support and encouragement.

But juggling many hats as a divorced woman with three small children during the early stages of her career was not easy.

When Doris doubted whether a woman could be as effective in business environment dominated by males, her father told her, ‘Doris, don’t try to be who you’re not because you will fail. Just be what you are.’”

Watching her daughter, Alexandra Cecala, struggle between work, her husband and four small children, inspired Doris to embark on a project to develop a course on the Management and Leadership Development for the Family, together with Boots Garcia, Julia Abad, and Marcel Pangilinan-Arenas who led the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment, with Magsaysay as the pilot.

“Most companies assume that our manangement and staff have someone caring for our loved ones at home while we are away. Based on my own experience and what I witnessed observing my daughter, half our minds and concerns are at home. The leadership and management course will cover many aspects that keep us — both men and women — anxious. I believe that our Magsaysay People will perform better in a company culture that acknowledges that the home is as important as the business,”
says Doris.

What kept her parents and siblings close, united, and strong was a clear vision and mission.Her father had to travel often, and Doris lived in different places growing up — Manila, Sao Paolo, Tokyo, Vancouver, Montreal, New York City, and Hong Kong.

Returning back to Manila after graduate school and work in Hong Kong was an amazing journey.

It's a place where one can contribute to society with impact through work and civic duties with the greatest people on earth, Doris says.

“One must be able to wake up everyday and love every aspect of what one do does — always with a grateful heart. I have always felt that I am an instrument of a higher force. Living with purpose gives me courage and life great meaning.”

[Editor's note: This article is written with PLDT Enterprise and the team of Doris Magsaysay-Ho.] - Rappler.com

Doris Magsaysay-Ho was named as this year’s MVP Grand Bossing at the 2018 MVP Bossing Awards.