Move over, Maria Clara: the fragile Filipina heroine from Jose Rizalâs Noli Me Tangere may have been the portrait of an ideal woman back in the day, but in this age of self-expression, independence, and unlimited opportunities, modern Pinays have found their voice, power, and purpose in lifeâand theyâre not afraid to use them.
This and other fascinating findings are the result of âFilipinaNext,â J. Walter Thompsonâs Philippine-based version of âFemale Tribes,â a proprietary insight study on women around the world conducted by JWT Global.
In the 2016 global study, 4,300 women between the ages of 18 and 70 were polled on their views concerning money, career, religion, sex, and other relevant topics. The participants came from the US, China, UK, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India, Australia, and South Africa. The Philippine study was based on quantitative and qualitative research among Filipinas across socio-economic classes ABCDE and between the ages of 18-70.
âFilipinaNextâ recognizes the importance of âFemale Capital,â or what the Filipinaâas leader, professional, pioneer, consumer, and womanâcontributes to society. Respondents of the local study also echo the optimism and pride of their sisters worldwide: according to âFemale Tribes,â 76% of women globally feel it has never been a better time to be a woman.
âComparing the results of Female Tribes with FilipinaNext, it is astonishing to note that despite being believed that the Philippines is largely a macho society, our local study saw that 85% of Pinays believe that there has never been a better time to be a woman while 96% believe femininity is a strength,â says Golda Roldan, the Managing Director of JWT Philippines.
The Filipina as wealth creator. Chalk it up to the traditional role of controlling the familyâs purse stringsâor the shifting role of earning more than what her husband makes, or choosing to work while her better half manages the home. Whatever it is, women are clearly on top of money matters. Globally, 50% of women consider themselves the primary breadwinner, while in these shores, 80% of Filipinas identify themselves as the main household purchaser, and 73% say they make the majority of financial decisions at home.
However, Filipinas find handling finances to be a challenge, with 59% admitting that they spend beyond their means. Consequently, 81% of Pinays worry most about money.
The Filipina as professional. Married to their jobs? That appears to be the case among women the world over. According to JWT Globalâs âFemale Tribes,â 74% of the women who participated in the study linked their work to their sense of self. As such, 44% said they were willing to delay marriage and family to focus on building their career.
News reports about fewer Filipinos exchanging I Doâs in recent years prove that Pinays also aspire to be more than a wife and mother. In âFilipinaNext,â 58% of Filipinas would delay getting married and/or having kids to pursue their chosen career.
Interestingly, of all the women in the Asia-Pacific region, Filipinas are least likely to experience sexism in the workplace. This means, in a relatively discrimination-free work environment, the skyâs the limit for the professional Pinay.
When it comes to success, 72% of Filipinas say they motivate themselves to succeed. The rest are inclined to turn to role models: thanks to the influence of a prominent female figure, 41% âhave taken risks in life that they otherwise would not have taken,â 40% âbecame more ambitious,â and 33% were encouraged to âgo to school or pursue further educationâ. Interestingly, 15% even left an abusive relationship.
Where are Filipinas finding women to emulate? Not in media, apparently: 76% regard todayâs female celebrities âtoo superficial.â This explains why a whopping 98% of Pinays assert the importance of establishing strong and substantial women in television and film. Still, they donât need to look far for inspiration: 94% of Filipinas feel that women in general need to step up and serve as mentors to young girls.
âOur study shows that Filipinas want to be mentored and to mentor. Hence, JWT Philippines is introducing a new internship program specifically for women called âBabaelang: A tribe of women for womenâ. Through this, we hope to raise the next Filipina giants in advertising, marketing and communications,â added Roldan.
Globally, JWT holds an international mentorship program for female college students called the âHelen Lansdowne Resor Scholarshipâ, aptly named after the industry’s and JWT’s first female copywriter.
The Filipina as woman. Pinays are optimistic by nature. Despite acknowledging their insecurities, 80% of Filipinas are confident they can achieve their goalsâand 41% claim theyâre already on their way.
The âBabaelangâ Mentorship Programâs first intake of mentees will start in June 2017. Students will be trained according to the different functions in advertising such as Creatives, Account Management, Strategic Planning, and other operational aspects as well in business such as Administration and Finance.
The hand-picked interns will be given the privilege of learning from industry leaders and influencers from JWT Philippines and its clients.