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  • Nina Sherizze de Sagun

AMDev kicks off Women's Month with a women-led forum

Updated: Mar 6

In Photo (L-R): Advanced Manufacturing Skills Council Director Patricia Siriban, Makati Business Club Incoming Executive Director Bobby Batungbacal, Outgoing Executive Director Coco Alcuaz, AMDev Chief of Party Danilo Lachica, USAID Project Management Specialist Henry Grageda, DTI Asec. Leny Baluyut, Unilab Head of External Affairs and Social Partnerships Claire Papa, USAID Office of Education Director Michelle Chen, DOLE Asec. Dominique Tutay, UP-SOLAIR Senior Lecturer Rebecca Gaddi, MBC Board of Trustee Riza Mantaring, USAID Acting Mission Director Rebekah Eubanks, Unilab Operating Vice President for Research and Development Joyce Santos, Maxeon Solar Technologies General Manager Pauline Palma, Mondelez Philippines Vice President and General Manager Aleli Arcilla, and IBM Philippines President and Country General Manager Aileen Judan-Jiao.

In celebration of Women's Month, the​​ Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Alliance (AMDev), an industry-led initiative developed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Unilab Foundation to upskill and reskill the Philippine manufacturing workforce, organized a forum ​​on Building Inclusive Workplaces: How Industry 4.0 Empowers Women on March 1 in Makati City.  


Gracing the event were Dr. Rebecca S. Gaddi of the University of the Philippines- School of Labor and Industrial Relations (UP-SOLAIR), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Assistant Secretary Leny Baluyut and USAID representatives Acting Mission Director Rebekah Eubanks and Office of Education Director Michelle Chen. The session aims to discuss efforts in advancing the gender and development agenda in manufacturing and technology sectors, given the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution.


“In order to drive Industry 4.0, we must include diverse perspectives and talents of men and women. When we increase income and opportunities for women, entire communities, economies, and countries benefit,” expressed Rebekah Eubanks. 


Leading the panel discussion on creating gender-inclusive workspaces are IBM Philippines President and Country General Manager Aileen Judan-Jiao, Maxeon Solar Technologies General Manager Pauline Palma, Mondelez Philippines Vice President and Managing Director Aleli Arcilla, and Unilab Inc. Operating Vice President for Research and Development Engr. Joyce Santos. 


In 2020, only 34.5% of women were part of the workforce compared to almost 55% of men, with certain fields, particularly in digital technology, still considering women a minority. The Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 aims to achieve 52-54% women's labor force participation by 2028. 


"The Alliance believes that the future is not just about machines and robots controlling the world; it's about the Filipino workforce, particularly women, trailblazing a skilled and future-ready environment for the manufacturing industry," said AMDev Chief of Party Dr. Danilo Lachica.  


The event convened more than 60 representatives in the manufacturing industry, government, academe and training institutions, and labor groups, including its Alliance Partners.


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