28 June 2018 – As part of its economic diplomacy and Gender and Development (GAD) thrusts, the Philippine Embassy, in cooperation with #FinanciallyLiteratePH (FLPH), organized on 23 June 2018 the talk “Women in Business: Empowering Filipina Entrepreneurs” with Mrs. Lourdes Josephine T. Gotianun Yap, President and CEO of Filinvest Development Corp and wife of Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph Del Mar Yap, as guest speaker.
The event also featured Commercial Counsellor Maria Cynthia B. Ricafort of the Philippine Trade & Investment Centre – Singapore, who discussed about the services of DTI to support would-be entrepreneurs and MSMEs.
Mrs. Yap shared her insights as a business executive of the Filinvest Group, whose subsidiaries include East West Bank, Filinvest Land, and FDC Utilities, as she promotes gender equality.
“Gender equality starts at home,” according to Mrs. Yap, who despite being the only daughter among a brood of four and not being the eldest, was chosen by her father to lead one of the biggest corporations in the Philippines.
She narrated that she came from a long line of businesswomen who served as her role models. She attributed their achievements to family decisions that gave the women in her family equal opportunities in education and business way ahead of the social norms of their times.
Mrs. Yap also provided personal insights on how to balance the demands of work and family. She emphasized that a woman’s gender should not be viewed as a disadvantage and used as an excuse or detriment to success. Instead, focus should be on developing the leadership qualities and work ethics expected in both men and women to succeed in a career in business. She reminded the audience that the Philippines is #10 on the World’s Most Gender Equal Nations, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017, and gender equality is very much a reality in the country.
She also prefers to explore new businesses and markets rather than merely running the existing operations of the company, which should inspire fellow Filipinos, especially OFWs, not to be afraid of venturing into business.
“If you don’t know that much about something, read on information that is accessible and consult other people who are knowledgeable about the matter,” she advised aspiring entrepreneurs.
One of the participants, Ms. Katrina Sy, an architect, said, “Listening to Mrs. Josephine Yap is a reminder that no matter what gender you are, you have the ability to lead people into better lives. It doesn’t matter whether you’re single, a wife or a mother but it is through our willingness to take responsibilities for our actions, hard work and ability to make effective decisions that make us succeed in the workforce.”
In 2013, she was one of only two Filipinas honored by Forbes Asia magazine’s list of “Asia’s 50 Businesswomen in The Mix.”
FLPH is a Filipino community organization in Singapore that aims to promote among our kababayans financial literacy and entrepreneurship. END