19 Nov 2019, 08:30 — 5 min read
TeamAsia President and Founder, Monette Iturralde-Hamlin engaged in meaningful discussions with the women leaders of Infosys BPM on a topic she is most passionate about: the empowerment of women in the workplace.
During the forum titled “Time for Action: Women as Creators and Change Makers", Monette shared the stage with fellow reputed executives, Enrich Hong Kong Senior Advisor, Lenlen Mesina, and former President and CEO of Philam Asset Management, Karen Roa, who are industry catalysts in their own right.
Renowned for her prowess in the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (M.I.C.E.) industry, Monette joined the intimate group of leaders to share how she has successfully established and grown a woman-owned and women-led business amidst tight competition.
“You can’t do it.” These are four very powerful words that are said to women often, but not powerful enough to stop Monette from spearheading the management of an awards program in six countries and later on building upon her growing career to establish an integrated marketing communication agency. Culturally ascribed gender norms have dictated what women can and cannot do, and Monette proved that women can break free from those stereotypes.
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Monette pointed out that TeamAsia has 61 full-time employees, of which 38 or 62 percent are women. Six out of seven directors are women. The two top posts, president and managing director, are held by women. She cited the special strengths that women bring to work—: they are intuitive, insightful, detail-oriented, highly resourceful, multitasking, people-oriented, nurturing and passionate.
Always do the best you can. Never settle for second best. Pour your heart into your work and deliver something you are proud you have done.
As Monette shared the challenge of building TeamAsia from a two-person team in a Makati garage over 25 years ago to where it is now, she emphasized how she drew inspiration from the strong women in her life: her mom, grandmother, grand aunt, and three aunts. While recounting how these women have been instrumental in her personal and professional growth, Monette underscored the importance of having role models. By sharing anecdotes from her entrepreneurial journey Monette became a role model herself, serving as tangible proof that women can be creators and changemakers in business.
Within a span of 25 years as an events management professional, Monette has headed the Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers, Inc. (PACEOS) and the Hopkins International Partners, Inc. as Chairperson, served the Women’s Business Council Philippines, Inc. as President, shared her expertise to thousands of people as resource speaker for the LCF Corporate Social Responsibility Institute and the Philippine M.I.C.E. Academy, and received a CEO Excel Award from IABC in 2016 and an Outstanding ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Award in Bangkok, Thailand. She has also previously served the League of Corporate Foundations as Trustee, Board Secretary, and Chair for various committees; and the Philippine Tourism Promotions Board as appointed Director for the M.I.C.E. sector.
Drawing on years of experience, Monette shared career tips to the discerning crowd: have a mentor, find a partner wisely, follow your passion, embrace change especially in technology, build your network, always do your best, deliver on your promises, and remember to prioritize the people you love.
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Sharing her work philosophy, Monette said, “Always do the best you can. Never settle for second best. Pour your heart into your work and deliver something you are proud you have done.”
The program concluded with an opportunity for the Infosys women leaders to ask their personal questions to the guest speakers. Monette specifically shared her wisdom about balancing work and family life, standing out in male-dominated fields, policies for women empowerment, and overcoming burnout.
Considering all she has done, Monette has inspired countless women from different industries all across the region. Now, she is considered as one of the local business scene’s icons of an empowered woman. Seeing this unique position both as a privilege and an opportunity, Monette purposefully takes action for women in business, inside and outside TeamAsia.
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