Message of support at the joint launch of the ECOP-PhilWEN Diversity and Inclusion Committee

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the joint launch of the ECOP-PhilWEN Diversity and Inclusion Committee, 12 August 2021, Manila, Philippines via Zoom

Statement | Manila, Philippines via Zoom | 12 August 2021
  • Mr Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., President of ECOP and key officials,
  • Ms Boots Garcia, Chairperson, Philippine Women Economic Network
  • Ms Julia Abad, Executive Director, Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment
  • Distinguished representatives from employers organizations, chambers, and businesses;
  • Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon!
A very warm welcome!

The ILO congratulates the Employers Confederation of the Philippines and the Philippine Women Economic Network for the launch of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

We have witnessed a shift in work patterns and environments, digitalization of work, and the massive impact of COVID-19 on the world of work.

More than ever, the ILO and its constituents – governments, workers and employers – play a crucial role through social dialogue to find common solutions.

These are crucial to help revive the economy, ensure safety and health of individuals, and achieve sustainability and inclusiveness of businesses and jobs.

All these are captured in the Decent Work Country Programme, which serves as roadmap based on priorities set by the government, employers and workers organizations in the Philippines.

These priorities are at the heart of our work to support the country’s National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS).

Employers and businesses face extraordinary pressure to survive and ensure decent work.

Women workers and women business owners face additional burden of increased and uneven share of unpaid care work at home. This underscores the need for a gender-responsive recovery.

The ILO Research on Investing in Women showed that gender diversity initiatives could lead to positive business outcomes.

Women will not only benefit, but this will overall contribute to improved productivity, innovation, employee retention, and positive reputation.

At the same time, it will contribute to a stronger economy and inclusive society.

We appreciate initiatives by employers and businesses to help close persistent gender gaps in the world of work, including in enterprises.

Over 500 women gained critical soft skills from companies and industry associations under the ILO Women in STEM programme, funded by J.P. Morgan, in partnership with ECOP. We expect to reach 2000 more in the coming months.

We encourage enterprises to explore the value of such trainings. We trust that the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of ECOP and PhilWEN will continue these trainings, driven at the enterprise level.

We likewise commend ECOP under the leadership of Mr Ortiz-Luis for pushing and supporting ratification of the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190), as the first international treaty to end violence and harassment in the world of work.

Employers indeed play a crucial role to shape a future of work based on dignity and respect for all, free from violence and harassment.

Today’s launch expands initiatives towards sustainable and concrete actions at the workplace for a more inclusive work environment and resilient enterprises.

The Committee will serve as hub for knowledge exchange on best practices, and link companies and industry associations.

As part of our support, the ILO brings into fold the Rebuilding Better project and the new regional guide on Disability Inclusion for Employers.

More recently, ILO, ECOP and the PhilWEN also partnered to support women entrepreneurs for a more gender-responsive, inclusive and human-centred recovery.

Indeed, the committee will help enhance the capacity of women entrepreneurs affected by COVID-19 towards recovery and resilience.

This is in line with the ILO’s Global Call to Action adopted by 181 countries for a human-centered recovery from COVID-19 that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient.

We count on enterprises, employers and industry associations to continue making strides for positive business outcomes.

It is by working together that we can help each other build a better, and a more inclusive future of work.

Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much)!