On 29 March, the Philippine Business and Disability Network (PBDN), in partnership with Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc., held a public webinar entitled “Celebrating Women with Disability: Equal, United, and Involved in Inclusive Development”. In celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8), and the local celebration of Women with Disabilities Day (March 28), the webinar featured notable women with disability guest speakers who shared their personal experiences and insights and their recommendations on how people can be better allies to Persons with Disability.
The speakers were Bless Adriano, a woman with visual impairment and lupus who is a youth leader and a consistent honor student and scholar, Jennica Agustin, a woman with Cerebral Palsy working as a Senior Team Member in a financial services company, and Dr. Dorothy Tarol, a woman with bilateral hearing loss who is a Teacher and Guidance Counselor and was also awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Women in her locality.
Highlights from the webinar are as follows:
There is still a lack of awareness among Filipinos on the strengths and capabilities of women with disabilities. Discrimination and stereotyping are still evident. Employers should work towards instilling a more inclusive workplace culture, starting with an open-minded and collaborative environment where all contributions are valued and inclusive language is used.
There is a gap in terms of accessibility, such as transportation and assistive technologies, that could help women with disabilities flourish not only at the workplace but also in daily life. Employers should take extra steps in ensuring that their workplaces, including recruitment and operational policies and procedures, are inclusive and accessible.
Employers should continue to empower women with disabilities by giving them opportunities to grow their skills and develop their careers within and beyond the workplace.
If you or your organization would like to reach out to the PBDN, you may send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org