On International Women’s Day this past March, J.Walter Thompson Manila launched “Filipina Next” — a ground-breaking survey that sought to offer insight into the modern Filipina.
Some of the key findings:
- 85% of Filipinas believe that there has never been a better time to be a woman
- 85% of Filipinas believe technology empowers them
- 47% of Filipinas see success as achieving a higher level of religious or spiritual awareness
- Only 27% of Filipinas experience sexism at work on a regular basis, the lowest rating in the APAC region which is 42%
Here is a conversation shared with us by JWT featuring Golda Roldan, Manila’s Managing Director, and Pam Garcia, Manila Executive Strategic Planning Director, sharing some of the key insights from the Filipina Next survey.
What did you find are the main challenges in being a Filipina today?
PAM: Based on our “Filipina Next” study and our own conversations with female consumers, we found that despite 85% saying there has never been a better time to be a woman, 48% of Filipinas surveyed still see themselves as their own worst enemy.
Our study shows that Filipinas want to be mentored and want to mentor. Due to this finding, JWT Philippines is introducing a new internship program that is specifically for women called ‘Babaelang: A tribe of women for women’.
It indicates that there is a remaining challenge for Filipina women in that their own self-doubt is one of the elements getting in the way of them achieving their dreams.
For our one-on-one conversations with consumers, we learned from a young Filipina that she sometimes is still afraid to take risks. She admitted that, “fears hold me back, I want to go for it, but I imagine not being able to achieve what I want and it scares me.”
What were the attitudes you found among women towards technology?
GOLDA: They generally have a positive attitude with technology. According to 85% of the Filipinas surveyed, technology empowers them. We also learned from our interviews with female entrepreneurs that they feel that they would not have taken risks or experimented in business if they didn’t get inspiration, ideas, and opportunities online.
Technology has given them freedom to further their advocacies. One respondent mentioned that she spread awareness about cyberbullying among her fellow students through social media.
The survey also found Filipinas are more likely to worry about money. What lessons can brands take from that?
PAM: Our survey specifically found that 81% of Filipinas are most likely to worry about money and 59% of them said they are spending more than they earn. Additionally, 52% of Filipinas surveyed feel that saving money is a huge challenge.
We feel that this is a tremendous opportunity for brands, especially finance and investment brands communicating to Filipina. They can definitely create services, innovations, campaigns or products that help her manage /track her spending or make it easier for her to save.
The same day you launched Filipina Next, you also announced the new ‘Babaelang: a tribe of women for women’ mentorship program for female college students. Tell us about that.
GOLDA: Our study shows that Filipinas want to be mentored and want to mentor. Due to this finding, JWT Philippines is introducing a new internship program that is specifically for women called ‘Babaelang: A tribe of women for women’. The name is a play on the “Babaylan”, which is a tribe of women who wield social and spiritual power in the pre-colonial Philippines and “Babaelang,” which translated roughly means “just a woman”.
The program hopes to raise the next Filipina giants in advertising, marketing, and communications. The “Babaelang” mentorship program will welcome its first group of mentees in June 2017. Students will be trained across the Creative, Account Management, Strategic Planning, Administration, and Finance disciplines. The hand-picked interns will be given the privilege of learning from industry leaders and influencers from JWT Philippines and its clients.
A version of this also appears on the JWT Blog.