Philippine power distributer Meralco to promote gender inclusivity in the workplace


Author(s): Dominique Paranal, Bovornpong Vathanathanakul

Manila, Philippines – Meralco, a leading electric distribution utility in the Philippines, announced that it will give priority to building a gender-inclusive workplace by attracting and developing female talent as well as widen their career opportunities, especially in more experienced and senior positions.

Meralco president and chief executive Atty. Ray C. Espinosa said: “Sustainability is woven into the fabric of Meralco’s strategy and operations. As such, we believe that embracing women’s empowerment and promoting gender equality are key to an inclusive and sustainable future as we forge further ahead to powering the good life for all.”

Espinosa had signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) on 9 March as part of International Women’s Day, joining thousands of other business leaders who are committed to fostering business practices that empower women in the workplace and across the value chain. The global number of WEPs signatories has grown from 39 in 2010 to more than 3,800 today, including 23 from the Philippines.

WeEmpowerAsia, an EU-funded programme run by UN Women, supports women in business, partly by encouraging companies to sign on to the WEPs in support of Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality. The programme works in seven countries of Asia, including the Philippines.

In its 2019 Sustainability Report entitled “Sustaining The Future,” Meralco reported that it had more than three times as many women in its organization (at 32 percent) than the global average of companies in the energy sector (at 9 percent). The number of women in its higher management positions rose to 487 in 2019 from 415 in 2018.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the WEPs. Meralco also held a webinar discussion of its gender equality agenda on 15 December entitled Towards a Gender-Inclusive Workplace: A #PoweringTheGoodLife Webinar.

Rosalyn Mesina, WeEmpowerAsia programme manager at UN Women Philippines, noted during the webinar how the WEPs and gender inclusivity strengthens the bottom line of businesses.

The webinar participants included Maria Luisa Alvendia, Meralco’s first vice president and chief of staff, who recounted her experience as a woman leader and discussed how companies can narrow the gender gap in and outside the office.

Jonah Pernia, director of public affairs, communications, and sustainability at Coca-Cola Philippines, congratulated Meralco and other WEPs signatories for taking strong actions to empower women amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She also shared details about her company’s award-winning gender equality programme that promotes inclusive workplaces.

The UN Women 2020 Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards, the region’s first-ever business awards, recognized Coca-Cola Philippines for its work under the Gender-inclusive Workplace Category. The Philippine WEPs Awards winners were celebrated during a virtual ceremony on November 11.

For more information, contact:

Dominique Paranal
UN Women Philippines
Email: [ Click to reveal ]

About WeEmpowerAsia
WeEmpowerAsia is a UN Women programme funded by and in partnership with the European Union that seeks to increase the number of women who lead and participate in business in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. For more information, visit