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Building careers and confidence at Manulife

“My big sister sacrificed her own schooling so I could go to college,” says Krizzia Gallos. “So when I started to work I immediately wanted to find ways to promote women’s careers, and redress the gender stereotypes that many Filipino workplaces still struggle with.”

As Krizzia explains, “There’s often a striking difference between the achievements and careers of women and men, so talking openly about this in my first #IamRemarkable workshop felt awkward to begin with. But as someone who’s struggled with self-promotion, I could see right away how my colleagues, at insurance firm Manulife Business Processing Services, could also benefit from having these types of conversations.” 

Inline ImageKrizzia Gallos facilitating an #IamRemarkable workshop

After training as an #IamRemarkable facilitator in 2019, Krizzia was soon running sessions for leaders across the business, including AVP, HR Partner for MBPS, Ardhi Siregar. He quickly realised how the program could help encourage participants to become more aware of their assumptions around gender roles in the workplace, and get better at supporting underrepresented groups. 

“#IamRemarkable is helping us address and get rid of unconscious bias at Manulife,” says Ardhi. “When you promote that kind of equality, it encourages employees to champion themselves and drive higher performance.” 

#IamRemarkable is helping us address and get rid of unconscious bias at Manulife.
Ardhi Siregar, AVP, HR Partner for MBPS

As of October 2020, over 400 Manulife employees have participated in more than 40 #IamRemarkable workshops. One of the facilitators is Director of Employee Relations, Jhoi Ciriaco, who believes the impact at all levels within the business has been significant. “Whatever their job type or seniority, #IamRemarkable gives people a new perspective of how others experience different situations,” she says. “And that’s how you can put the spotlight on them and tell their remarkable stories.”  

Around the business, managers have noticed tangible results since launching the program. During team reviews, for example, employees are getting better at speaking more actively about themselves, and recognising past achievements. 

Inline Image#IamRemarkable workshop at Manulife
In a way, #IamRemarkable is now part of our work culture, and our life culture.
Jhoi Ciriaco, Director of Employee Relations

Jhoi has experienced firsthand the ability #IamRemarkable has to help employees acknowledge their success, feel motivated, and fulfill their career potential. “I tell people, ‘It’s time for you to shine, to showcase yourself,” she says. “There are things about you that make you remarkable and you didn’t know.’ In a way, #IamRemarkable is now part of our work culture, and our life culture.” 

As AVP, HR Partner for MBPS, Ardhi wholeheartedly agrees. “When you give people the chance to champion themselves and talk openly about their achievements, the effects soon snowball throughout the organisation,” he says. “I see people change after the workshop— they’re more confident, more motivated — and that can only be a good thing. Because when people know they’re remarkable, they realise they can do anything. I love it.”