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Nestlé Philippines: Accelerating gender balance in the workplace

In celebration of International Women’s Month, Nestlé Philippines recently held a series of online fora for its employees and external stakeholders tackling issues, challenges, and approaches in fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

This year’s theme for the celebration is #ChoosetoChallenge, a call to action for all people to step up and challenge gender bias and inequality.

“At Nestlé Philippines which has been present in the country for 110 years, building diversity and inclusion in the workplace where everyone can thrive is a top priority. The pursuit of gender balance is key to Nestlé’s approach for accelerating diversity and nurturing inclusivity in our workforce,” said Chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki.

Nestlé Philippines provides men and women in its technical teams’ equal opportunities for advancement. Production lines of factories have been rendered “women-friendly” through process automation and tools.

Mr. Marzouki shared a number of the company’s milestones towards achieving gender balance:

Balance in Leadership Roles – Nestlé Philippines has attained a 50-50 gender balance for management positions, strengthening the representation of women in leadership roles. As for senior positions, 47% (vice presidents and upwards) are held by women.

Globally, Nestlé’s vision is to increase the representation of women in its top 200 senior executive positions through the Nestlé Gender Balance Acceleration Plan. Since its launch, the plan has driven a 25% increase in women for top senior executive positions.

Equal Pay – Nestlé has pledged to accelerate equal pay globally, which means that women and men are rewarded equally or similarly for performing the same work. Since 2019, monitoring for equal pay at Nestlé Philippines shows that in the last two years there have been no significant gender pay gaps at all levels in the workforce. Proactive prevention measures of total rewards review systems and talent management are in place to maintain equal pay across all levels in all roles.

Parental Support Policy – Women are empowered to excel in every role they play. The Nestlé Philippines Parental Support Policy was launched in February 2020 as a gender-neutral policy in response to evolving parental roles. Through this policy, fully paid leave for the primary caregiver is extended from 15 weeks to 18 weeks, while fully paid leave for the secondary caregiver is extended from 9 days to 4 weeks. The company uses the terms primary and secondary caregivers to signify support for all forms of family set-ups:  biological or adoptive, including same-sex, and single parents, and legal guardians.

Balance in Candidate Sourcing – In sourcing talents, balanced representation is maintained regardless of role, by ensuring there is at least one female candidate in the pipeline.

Nurturing an environment in which Women can Thrive

  • Nestlé Philippines has made its factories’ production lines “women-friendly” through process automation and tools, giving men and women in its technical teams equal opportunities for advancement.
  • In a first for Nestlé in the Philippines, a female factory manager heading one of its production facilities was recently appointed.
  • The Makati Administrative Office has been certified as a Mother-Baby Friendly workplace with complete breastfeeding facilities. Today, All Nestlé factories are likewise equipped with breastfeeding facilities to support Nestlé moms. Paid lactation breaks are provided, as are daycare services.

ILO-ECOP Training for Women Employees in Business Soft Skills – Nestlé Philippines is the first food and beverage company in the country chosen to pilot the In Business Soft Skills Training Methodology of the International Labor Organization (ILO), facilitated by the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP). The initiative seeks to support enterprises in upskilling and broadening the critical soft skills of female employees working in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-related positions.

“Building diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a journey requiring a sustained commitment and unwavering focus. While we take pride in our milestones, what really counts is that these are making us a better and stronger organization, as the trusted Kasambuhay of Filipinos. The investments are worthwhile, not only for the organization but for society as a whole, because we all benefit from human empowerment, and in particular, empowered women,” Mr. Marzouki said.

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