PH+SocialGood: Using technology to maximize women's impact
MANILA, Philippines – "It is often my role to be the only woman or one of few women in technology in terms of leadership."
This is the sentiment of Sheila Marcelo, CEO and founder of care.com and one of the speakers during the PH+SocialGood Manila summit on Tuesday, September 16.
When asked how she envisions the world in 2030, she sees a future where women will no longer be a statistic.
“Just recently, I received an award from the Harvard Business School. Again, I felt a strange feeling in my stomach. I was the only woman in the room again, and I was again another statistic – I was told I was the youngest to have received it in the history of the school,” she explained.
'If you’re in a leadership position and you’re a minority, what are you doing about it?'
She asked herself whether she was picked because she’s a woman. But she is hopeful that in the next decades in the Philippines, women would not have to feel like this when their achievements are recognized. Even now, she said, Filipino culture already embraces and celebrates women and their place in society.
In fact, the Philippines has had the narrowest gender gap in Asia in the past decade.
“I predict [in 2030] those feelings will go away. In 30 years, the thought won’t even cross my mind. There’s going to be incredible role models – Filipino women, so many of them – for us to look up to,” Marcelo said.
Marcelo believes that, by 2030, women leaders will use technology to make an impact on people’s lives. By then, she hopes for women to have equal and better access to basic resources such as food, water, medicine, and energy.
"As female leaders, we need to remember that our differences are our strengths. They are not excuses,” Marcelo added.
On Tuesday, she challenged women to speak out, and for men to “woman up.”
"You need to raise your hand. If you’re in a leadership position and you’re a minority, what are you doing about it?"
Meanwhile, Gender Proud founder and transgender model Geena Rocero lamented that “being LGBT in the Philippines is culturally celebrated but not politically recognized.”
Rocero on Tuesday talked about identity and using social media to foster more nuanced conversation about gender rights.
Several bills that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity are still pending in Congress.
Rocero said only 7 cities and 2 provinces in the country have anti-discrimination ordinances.
Watch their talks below.
Identity & Social Media - Geena Rocero
Women and Technology - Sheila Marcelo
Q & A with Geena Rocero and Sheila Marcelo
See related stories:
- PH+SocialGood: Good journalism, and the power of the crowd
- Disaster politics, response: Digging deeper into calamities
- PH+SocialGood: Imagine a world with free Internet, super WiFi
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The Social Good Summit 2017 in the Philippines will challenge us to examine the purpose of innovation and ask the critical questions: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?
The event is happening on Saturday, September 16. For interested participants, see more details here.