While the world has changed much, sadly many forms of inequality still exist around the world. As recent events in other countries and even locally have shown, achieving equality in all forms is everyone’s responsibility and requires action from all of us. This could be as simple as starting your own community pantry or extending support to charitable organizations. It is this belief in making an impact in your own community that has spurred snacks company Mondelez Philippines to strengthen its own diversity and inclusion commitments.
“Guided by our Purpose, Mission, and Values, we strive to promote diversity and inclusion for our colleagues, culture, and communities,” shares Aileen Aumentado, People Lead of Mondelez Philippines. “Like our well-loved snack brands Tang and Eden cheese, we encourage not only acts of playfulness but also inspire acts of generosity and take a stand on issues that matter. We choose to believe we are stronger through our diverse, inclusive, and connected community; to do what’s right and treat everyone with integrity, and to foster a culture of belonging.”
Three pillars drive the Company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. These are Colleagues, Culture, and Community. For Colleagues this means ensuring the diversity of employees, to represent the customers and consumers the Company serves. In the Philippines, this translates to creating a full candidate slate for new positions. Candidates to be interviewed for a job opening must include women and applicants from different schools and work backgrounds. This means choosing the right person for the job, not for who they are or where they come from.
For Culture, the Company aims to create an inclusive, bias-free, and equitable workplace in which all colleagues can be themselves and achieve their full potential. Women empowerment is a core focus of the Company. It works to empower women through career development opportunities as well as flexible work policies, which allow them the ability to balance work and life commitments. All employees, regardless of gender, marital status, or role enjoy this flexible working policy, work from home policy, and career development opportunities. In the Philippines, the Company’s Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) benefits have also been expanded since 2017. This entitles health coverage not only for married couples but also for domestic partners of all genders.
Under Community, the Company aims to drive economic inclusion for underrepresented communities. Locally this has been done for the past 10 years through the Joy Schools program, a school adoption initiative that supports underprivileged public elementary school students. Since 2011 the program has adopted 19 schools nationwide and reached 25,000 students. More recently, the Company has partnered with Invisible Sisters, an organization that works with underprivileged women by enabling their skills to design high-quality, sustainable, and handcrafted products out of waste materials. This work allows them to create transformative change in and out of their environment.
“As our name suggests, “Invisible” refers to urban poor women who are unable to participate in the formal economy and the waste materials from landfills and waterways. As both are deemed unseen by society, Invisible Sisters recognizes these as opportunities to create positive changes,” explains Deseree Mangulabnan, Program Director of Invisible Sisters.
Invisible Sisters contributes to Filipino ingenuity, design, and craftsmanship through the art of crochet and knitting of plastic waste. “It is through this craft that they are provided with a livelihood that boosts self-confidence and gives a sense of self-worth. Invisible does not bring people to work. We bring jobs to people who cannot work. We work around the edges, outside of traditional factories, and labor markets giving real skills to otherwise unemployable women, enabling them to manage their time and life needs,” adds Mangulabnan. For their small partnership to create recycled home items, 37.5 kilos of plastic were recycled and 15 women provided with income.
It is Mondelez Philippines’ and Invisible Sisters’ belief that we are stronger through our diverse, inclusive, and connected community. Where everyone is recognized, included, and move together towards growth.