Inspiring our girls to be women in tech


THIS pandemic has opened my eyes further as a parent to guide my kids beyond school work and extra-curricular activities. In the past months, I have shared how companies help us guide our kids on financial knowledge, sustainability and inclusion. This week, it is great to be able to share a story on how to inspire our girls to see the possibilities of being in an industry that is male-dominated.

Diversity has become a buzzword in the corporate landscape, and it’s because of the numerous benefits it brings, according to studies. The Boston Consulting Group reports that diversity is a crucial driver in innovation that produces 19 percent more revenue ( To foster an all-encompassing work force, it needs to start at the top ( Leaders have to be inclusive and they need to make sure their teams are treated respectfully and fairly.

Tech giant HP has led the conversation on diversity in the tech sector. Inclusivity is part of its DNA and it understands that long-term success can be achieved by valuing differences, whether it’s in gender, nationality, ability, religion, sexual orientation, or views. “From our earliest days, we have recognized that listening to differing points of views can lead to breakthroughs that can improve our products, services, and the company as a whole. Historically, our founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard included diversity in the HP Way because they believed it drove innovation,” says Rena Marin, country human resources head of HP Inc. in the Philippines.

This commitment to diversity is reflected in its teams. Women make up 36 percent of HP’s global work force, and almost 32 percent are in leadership roles. Women also make up 46 percent of the board of directors ( HP in the Philippines is also a key leader in inclusion: women make up 46 percent of the Philippine team, a figure that exceeds global and local industry benchmarks. Through its efforts, HP has been recognized as a Circle of Excellence Awardee for Diversity Company of 2020 at the 11th Asia CEO Awards. The company is also included in Forbes’ annual list of the World’s Best Employers in 2020.

“Diversity is not just about hiring people from underrepresented communities. We want to empower them by giving them equal opportunities to grow, so they can create a bigger impact in the community we work in,” adds Marin.

Rena herself had the global opportunity as the region HR head for cluster countries composed of Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam to take on the big role of driving diversity, people development, and leading a growth mindset approach for HP.  This was before she came back to the Philippines as the country HR head and also the HR business partner for two key businesses: the Go-to-Market in the Philippines and the Print Category in Greater Asia. Her dedication to work and her leadership qualities were greatly recognized, earning her the HP President’s Club 2020 Award where winners were hand-selected by the Commercial Organization global leadership team. 

To continuously cultivate and prepare women in leadership positions, HP established programs, such as the Women’s Impact Network, which have been built by HP employees for HP employees to grow, learn and drive change together. Catalyst at HP, on the other hand, is a women’s sponsorship organization that aims to advance the career of women. As of 2020, 37 percent of participants have been promoted or are in new roles. Another program is the Women in Leadership (WIN) Lab, which prepares them for management roles. Across the work force, the company holds training programs, job rotations, and bench planning to make sure women develop their skills and learn new ones.

In the Philippines, WIN is led by Rena, along with her fellow female leader colleagues, Kathy Redondo and Cherry Pangilinan, market development managers for HP PPS and HP Supplies, respectively. They are very much active in connecting, educating and empowering aspiring women within the company. They work on developing and enhancing critical competencies, as well as help build confidence, leadership, and the ability to balance work and personal life. They have broad initiatives, from simply showing care and celebrating life through a gift-giving activity for expectant mothers and sending out a monthly birthday greetings, to volunteering and donation drives. They also arrange regular webinars and assemblies to learn and discuss topics that highlight the value of fostering a culture of inclusion or showcasing best practices done by HP WIN in other regions.

“HP has always been a business with a purpose. We focus on making lasting impacts on our people, the planet, and the wider Filipino community. By fostering a culture of respect, openness, and inclusion, we can create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere,” concludes Marin.

Read full article on BusinessMirror