8th ASEAN Leaderspeak Series: The ASEAN Woman Leader

This is a press release from the Asian Institute of Management.

The 2013 Gender Development Index revealed a stunning fact: the Philippines scoring the highest in the ASEAN region. Furthermore, several ASEAN women leaders starred in the recently released Forbes’ Asia Power Businesswomen 2015, with three Filipina entrepreneurs making it to the roster. These events, coinciding with the International Women’s Month, have made global watchers sense women empowerment and gender parity taking shape.

Hence, the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) ASEAN 2015 Project staged a leader who exemplified the importance of women not only in the workplace but also in the society. The 8th ASEAN Leaderspeak Series entitled “The ASEAN Woman Leader” last March 2, 2015 featured Ms. Sandy Sanchez-Montano, the First ASEAN Woman Leader Awardee given by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) in November 2014 during the ASEAN Business Awards held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. She is currently the Vice President of the Community Health, Education, Emergency Response Services (CHEERS).

In her speech she shared with the audience how her experience as a survivor of the 1990 Luzon Earthquake motivated her to make a difference in the lives of people through educating them on how to respond to times of disaster. This inspired her to establish CHEERS which started as a small team of core individuals working together to help disaster-stricken Filipino communities has now flourished into a successful social enterprise that has been able to train, educate and certify 35,000 individuals across nations.

In the latter part of the program, she was joined by Professor Nieves Confesor of AIM, and discussants Dr. Marita Reyes of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and Ms. Catherine Maceda of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council where they reflected on the creating a gender-responsive environment for women’s empowerment. In this session, it was remarked that the country ranked first in the Global Risk Index, and women are distinctly more vulnerable to natural hazards. The conversations called for a more proactive (rather than reactive) approach to disaster resiliency. Ensuring an enabling environment, including infrastructure and appropriate financing, are needed to become more responsive to the global issues. In the end, it is hoped that the case of CHEERS would go beyond mere recognition and be replicated throughout the region. 

This event was organized as part of the 10-part ASEAN Leaderspeak Series of the AIM ASEAN 2015 Project to spread awareness on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Integration by the end of 2015. The Leaderspeak Series is a platform for discussing and exchanging innovative ideas on ASEAN as a whole and has showcased thought leaders such as Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno,  Mr. Ronaldo del Carmen of Pixar, and President Fidel V. Ramos throughout its run.

The Forum was held in the Asian Institute of Management and was attended by the students, the AIM community, and individuals from both public and private sectors. – Rappler.com