'Women in positions of power had to work harder than men'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 10) — More and more women are rising to positions of power—but only after overcoming the persisting hurdle that is gender inequality.

In CNN Philippines’ Politics as Usual on Tuesday, Chaye Cabal-Revilla, Senior Vice President and Group Controller of telecommunications company PLDT, stressed that women in the workplace generally have to put in more work while climbing the rungs to senior leadership.

“We are in our positions right now because we earned it—we worked hard for it,” Cabal-Revilla said. The top executive added that women in the workplace are generally “more detailed, more patient, and have better insight.”

Cabal-Revilla also recounted how she felt the need to challenge herself and push the boundaries of traditionally-male work by “going down underground cables, learning how to troubleshoot and splice copper” herself despite working in finance.

Her sentiment was echoed by Director of the General Santos City Police Colonel Portia Manalad who said that women are not able to move up into higher positions as quickly as men. “Everything we have right now, we deserve,” she said.

Manalad is the first and lone female to graduate from the Philippine National Police Academy in 1995. She is also the first female to work as police director in Cotabato City. “Very challenging kasi maging babae especially dito sa PNP na talagang ngayon palang nagkakaroon ng babae na umaakyat sa senior leadership,” Manalad said.

Meanwhile, Pediatrics Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Lulu Bravo stressed that women have to juggle more demands apart from work, including having to do most of the caregiving and household responsibilities in the family.

“In our culture, it’s always a thing that…. the woman has that extra job to ensure that the family is whole.”

A recent study by the United Nations Development Programme found that despite remarkable progress in some areas of the world, 9 out of 10 people globally are still biased against women. This discrimination is manifested in various aspects of women’s lives, including work. Findings, which contain data from over 80 percent of the world population, revealed that 40 percent feel that men have more right to a job when jobs are scarce. Half of the world’s men and women also feel that men make better political leaders.

“Women today are the most qualified in history, and newer generations of women have reached parity in enrollment in primary education,” the study read. “But the transition from the education system to the world of paid work is marked by a gender equality discontinuity associated with women’s reproductive roles.”