#CulturePH - P&G’s Atty. Mimi Lopez-Malvar on why workplace equality builds a stronger organization

Through policies, practices, and programs that help people in developing their careers while having the freedom and support to be who they are uniquely made to be, Procter and Gamble (P&G) Philippines has been building an environment of equality and inclusion for its employees.

Even if there is still more to be done to fully realize women's potential in the workplace, it is undoubtedly possible—and many businesses, including P&G, are making headway in that direction. According to data from Grant Thornton International's 2022 Women in Business report, women hold 48% of senior executive positions in the Philippines. Philippines has the third-highest percentage of female mid-level executives worldwide. One of the women helping P&G step up the campaign to promote equality and inclusion in the workplace is Atty. Mimi Lopez-Malvar.

Lopez-Malvar has worked with P&G for more than 13 years and is currently the country's legal head and director of government relations. There was a preconception that this sector was controlled by men who were either cold strategists or well-positioned political animals when I first entered this career and rapidly met others in the same field. I was both. But with time and the correct amount of patience and persistence to see things through, I'm pleased to say that I've advanced in my work," she remarked. She never felt the need to alter who she was over the years in order to advance in her work.

She represents the corporation and advocates for issues that are important to the manufacturing and consumer products industries, among other things. Through programs and activities that benefit the environment, bolster micro, small, and medium-sized companies (MSMEs), advance children's health and hygiene, and, most critically, empower women and girls, she also aids the corporation in expanding its socioeconomic footprint in the nation.

She is fortunate to be able to balance her job and personal demands thanks to the flexible work schedule she can get at P&G. “As a working mother, I benefited greatly from P&G’s generous policies such as extended parental leaves and flexible working hours, so I never had to miss family milestones."

The trusted consumer goods company has managed to bring its gender ratio in the workplace to an impressive 50-50 balance at the management levels—an impressive feat for any company, more so in an organization as huge as P&G. 

“P&G is truly a gender inclusive workplace, and I don’t think I would’ve advanced in my career and at the same time been able to raise four children while juggling work if not for the programs and policies that we have in place,” she said.

This is not a new thing for P&G. Many have come before Lopez-Malvar, for whom she is thankful. Those women mentored her and showed everyone that there shouldn't be a need to choose between being a wife, a mother, and having a corporate career. Atty. Mimi is keeping that torch alive for the next generation of P&G employees.

“I’ve seen personal and professional growth happen when (in the words of one of my bosses), we become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Over the course of my life and career, some of the best decisions I’ve made were those that forced me to push the envelope further. This often presents an opportunity for me to stretch and discover strengths I didn’t know I had in me,” she said. 

It is this level of commitment by the multinational company that makes P&G a strong equality and inclusion champion in the country. Over the years, it has implemented industry-leading policies and practices that push for gender-equitable and inclusive practices.

“Many of our products are made exclusively for women and girls, and women buy or influence the purchase of virtually all the rest of our products. As our valued consumers, we have unique insights into their aspirations, motivations, and challenges. Through our advertising and programs, we want to shed light on what these challenges are in order to provoke thought, promote dialogue and inspire positive action,” she said.

Championing equality and inclusion in the workplace fosters a culture of respect and of inclusion, which strengthens an organization—and P&G exemplifies.  

Lopez-Malvar said: “Observing equality and inclusion in the workplace allows the company to leverage on the power of difference, unique insights, and perspectives, which go a long way towards growing, innovating, and building the business.”

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