Mondelez Philippines highlights the importance of allyship in the workplace
Being an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community is more than signal boots on social media, Pride March attendance and loud and proud showmanship. It also means proactively helping the community—utilizing your existing privilege to create an inclusive and safe environment. And while workplaces are moving towards becoming safer and kinder to their employees of all SOGIE, there’s still a lot to address in terms of equal pay, equal opportunities and even social circles.
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Last June 18th, Mondelez Philippines, the company behind our favorite snacks such as Oreo, Tiger and Cadbury, held a Pride Month forum that discussed diversity and inclusion in workplaces. It was hosted by Mela Habijan, Miss Trans International 2020 and LGBTQIA+ rights advocate, who opened the floor to open the conversation about the discrimination the community has experienced and continues to do so.
The company has always been committed to empowering people to snack right and that means creating a better workplace to foster their people. This includes taking a stand in creating safe workplaces for the LGBTQIA+ community. Collective action, seen in their highest ranks, sets an example for the members of the organization to follow suit.
Internally, Mondelez has launched a campaign that discusses unconscious bias in the workplace and provides the necessary training to their employees to eliminate it through speaking up and sharing mutual feedback. And they don’t necessarily stop at the social aspect of cultivating safe workplaces for their employees, but rather offer them tangible support too. Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) coverages include domestic partners, while leaves for primary caregivers can be availed by anyone regardless of their gender.
There to guide Mondelez Philippines is the Philippine Financial and Inter-Industry Pride (PFIP), a non-profit community of practice made up of representatives from the LGBTQIA+ community who are in the corporate industry. PFIP’s Board of Trustee Chris Eugenio said that their partnership with Mondelez Philippines hopes to promote the three basic LGBTQIA+ rights in the workplace:
- The right to a chosen name and pronouns to affirm their gender identity.
- The right to dress according to their gender expression.
- The right to access inclusive facilities and amenities such as restrooms.
These are the building blocks towards creating an inclusive, caring and safe workplace.
The struggle for LGBTQIA+ rights is ongoing. But seeing organizations like Mondelez Philippines actively take steps to be educated and guided in cultivating safe workplaces offers a glimmer of hope. We’re not alone in the fight for equality, and the members and allies who have the power to enact change are doing their part in helping the movement.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver