Around the world, women have taken up more challenging roles across all facets of society, from politics to the corporate world. Today, there are more women in executive committees worldwide than ever before, representing 22% of EC roles in the Americas and 15% in Europe.
The executive landscape in the Philippines paints a similar picture, with women gradually climbing up the hierarchies of their respective organizations — from startup incubators to serviced office and coworking space providers — to show that not all the “Alphas” are male.
KMC’s top female executives sat down with the internal team to provide an in-depth discussion on their views about leadership and the responsibility of women in today’s corporate atmosphere.
A New Take on Leadership and Work Ethic
We asked Atty. Amanda Carpo, Legal Counsel and Co-Founder of KMC, what she recognizes as the most prominent barriers to female leadership. She stated that “attitude, predisposition, and prejudice” are the main hurdles that women must overcome when taking on leadership roles. She adds, “It is always out of the ordinary to be a female leader and that, usually, people who are benefiting from this situation do not wish to 'change' the status quo."
In this regard, Atty. Amanda advises all female executives to effectively utilize their skills and work to exceed expectations to show that their positions are well-earned and deserved.
Tracy Ignacio, Chief Operating Officer of KMC, shares similar views. When asked about how her work ethic has changed over the years, she replied, “I find myself very committed to this job. May it be the responsibility on my shoulders or the idea of building beautiful workplaces, I am inspired to work hard.”
Developing and Augmenting Core Strengths
A major women’s stereotype is that they are less productive than men, which contributes to the hurdles mentioned by Atty. Amanda. In order to overcome this public perception, women must develop their core strengths to continue to succeed in any role or environment that they may handle. For Atty. Carpo, women have to be wiser, focused, firm, and unafraid to get their message across.
Women can sometimes be held back by their fear of being offensive or bossy. But, to Atty.Carpo, resolving misunderstandings can be dealt with later. Women must uphold the truth and strive to get the message across, no matter how difficult the message could be.
Ms. Ignacio, who started off as the finance director of KMC, climbed the corporate ladder in the span of two years by obtaining and boosting her core strengths. She credits her work ethic as one of the biggest factors for her success, clocking in long hours to get the job done every day.
“Every day presents a new challenge. What surprised me is that before I joined KMC, I don’t think I was willing to work 14-hour days to get through challenges. But now I do. Some days are more tiring than others but I still manage to get up every morning looking forward to going to work,” says Ms. Ignacio.
Looking back and forward
Having bad days are inevitable, but women must hold steadfast beliefs that there will always be better days ahead. To survive the bad days, and anticipate the good ones to come, Atty. Carpo advises women to always remind themselves that any difficult situation will come to pass, and there’s always a solution that will reveal itself in due time.
This is true for women who are leading big organizations, jumping from one team meeting to another in different office locations, or for women starting up their own business in a small corner table inside a coworking space. Women must be both comfortable wherever they are, but at the same time continue to push the boundaries and charge on to the future.
What are your thoughts on Female Alphas: The Evolution of Women in the Workplace? Let us know all about it.