Enstack, Southeast Asia’s first SME Superapp, hosted ‘EmpowHER,’ its first-ever forum specifically designed for women working in the tech industry in celebration of Women’s Month, tackling the importance of diversity and inclusion in tech with the headline topic “Conversations on Reengineering a Female-Led Future for Tech.”
Aiming to open more opportunities for women to take a larger role in a traditionally male-dominated industry, the event brought together female start-up leaders to discuss the role of women in the tech industry and celebrate women in tech.
During EmpowHER, Enstack co-founder and CEO Macy Castillo highlighted women leaders in government, including Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) deputy governor Berna Romulo-Puyat and Department of Information Communications Technology (DICT) undersecretary Anna Mae Lamentillo.
The event drew in participants from women working in different functions that fuel the tech ecosystem, from start-up founders, executives, venture capitalists, to government officials, and featured two keynote speeches from government officials, with BSP Romulo-Puyat discussing the importance of technology in boosting financial inclusion, especially for women-led micro-small medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“Filipinas lead and own the majority of MSMEs in the country. However, these women leaders still face several challenges in financial inclusion such as less economic participation, credit access challenges, and low utilization and knowledge of financial products,” she said.
A study entitled “Filipino Women in Leadership: Government and Industry” revealed a scarcity of female representation in senior or lead positions in the Philippine government and industry, despite the country generally doing well in various international metrics of gender equality.
“Addressing these challenges requires interventions in creating an enabling and empowering environment that allows Filipina entrepreneurs to thrive in a digital environment. Technology offers tremendous potential in bridging these gaps so we can set up more Filipinas for entrepreneurial success,” she continued.
Meanwhile, Lamentillo underscored the importance of bridging the digital gender divide, which according to her, is a requisite of gender equality. She continued that when women’s rights are discussed, the role of men must also be opened in the dialogue.
“We can achieve this by showing the value of providing equal opportunity for women, that women’s participation is critical in our society and in the overall welfare of our nation,” she added.