Filipinas are getting more and more noticed the world over. It's an undeniable fact.
Just take a look back at the year that has passed—we have Hidilyn Diaz winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics, Geraldine Roman first transgender woman elected to the congressional district of Bataan, Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach bagging the Miss Universe title, Jaclyn Jose making history as the first Filipina to attain a Best Actress award at Cannes Film Festival, and Lea Salonga still reigning on the global theatre stage, to name a few. There's no stopping Filipina women in achieving what they want, making a name not just locally, but also in the international scene.
Filipina Women's Network (FWN) recognizes the potential of every Filipina woman, that's why this year, they've yet again awarded the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the world, topped by Philippines Vice President Leni Robredo. This acknowledgement aims to encourage more Filipina women to lead and take charge in their respective fields, just like these selected outstanding women who changed the face of leadership, locally and abroad. This is in line with the organization's mission to promote their social welfare and advocate for women's rights.
FWN CEO and founder Marily Mondejar shares what women need to do to exercise their rights and power as a female:
1. It should be about you. "You have the potential to change the world—yes, you. We have behind-the-scenes leaders, founders and pioneers, innovators of top leaders, policy makers. Women are part of the emerging leaders in the world."
2. Speak up. "My message to the Filipina women of the world is "speak up". You have got to develop your voice; it is very important. When you attend an event, raise your hand and ask a question because they will remember you for it. Don't be afraid! Don't underestimate yourself. You are contributing to the economy."
3. Dare to lead. "Focus on your competencies. We challenge our contributors to the our leadership book to tell their leadership stories - how they developed their leadership skills, how they got to where are they are because this reflection makes us realize that we do have the skills to get ahead and lead."
4. Learn to say 'no'. "We have an intense feeling to prove ourselves. We like to be prepared, so when we say 'no', it's because we aren't confident to say 'yes'. Sometimes 'you have to fake it until you make it' to overcome our shyness because Filipina women are innately talented!"
5. Build your network. It is important to surround ourselves with supporters. You can not do it alone. You need people to cover your back and to advise you on whatever aspect of your life needs support. Find people who can help you resolve your career issues. Nurture them, get them involved."