22 October Makati City, Philippines –

In a move to intensify Australia’s commitment to be at the forefront of efforts to empower women and girls and promote gender equality around the world, Dr. Sharman Stone, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, meets with Philippine Gender equality advocates in the Philippines led by Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE) and Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN), at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati for a breakfast meeting and dialogue.“The visit of Dr. Sharman Stone, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, is a clear statement of Australia’s unwavering support in advancing Gender Equality and the empowerment of women and girls, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region,” said His Excellency Ambassador Steven Robinson AO, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines.

PBCWE, a coalition of large and influential businesses committed to pursue gender equality, was formed through a partnership of the PhilWEN and the Australian government’s Investing in Women initiative. At present, PBCWE has nine member companies and continues to develop more knowledge and capacity-building products around workplace gender equality, specifically for the business sector. PBCWE provides companies with customized advice and support to progress workplace gender equality. This includes offering a range of diagnostic tools and EDGE Certification, the leading global assessment and business certification for gender equality/

PhilWEN Chair and PBCWE Co-Chairperson Boots Garcia shared the Business Coalition’s accomplishments over the past two years, which were achieved through the Member Companies’ strong leadership and the Australian government’s funding support.

“Through PBCWE’s work and with InLife’s recent certification, we are sending a strong message to the business sector that businesses should adopt deliberate gender policies. Joining PBCWE and undergoing this diagnostic process are exactly how you begin to concretely address gender barriers and pursue workplace gender equality,” said PhilWEN Chairperson and PBCWE Co-Chairperson Ma. Aurora “Boots” D. Geotina-Garcia.

Part of the program is to also recognize the efforts and commitment of recently EDGE Certified PBCWE company, Insular Life (InLife). InLife now joins PBCWE’s seven founding members and around 200 companies and organizations around the world with this distinguished global recognition.

“In InLife, we value each employee for their loyalty, hard work, and positive contribution to the company, regardless of their gender. We are honored that through PBCWE, InLife’s commitment and efforts toward women empowerment and gender equality are recognized not just by the Australian government, but by the whole world with our membership and certification,” said InLife Executive Chairperson Nina Aguas.

“I think it is magnificent what you are achieving with PBCWE, you are a model for what other countries can do. Whatever you are doing here we need to learn about and learn from you,” said Dr. Sharman Stone, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls.

Also present at the Breakfast Meeting and awarding ceremony were PBCWE Member Companies, Board members of PhilWEN, representatives from the Philippine Commission on Women, and other leaders and advocates of women’s economic empowerment in the country.

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