P&G Beyond Boundaries: Leaders Who Overcome Barriers With PRIDE

Procter & Gamble (P&G) was one of the earliest Fortune 500 companies to include sexual orientation in its diversity statement in 1992. Today, P&G Philippines proudly champions LGBTQ+ visibility that accurately portrays sexual orientation, gender identity and expression both inside and outside the company.

The company aspires to make equality and inclusion achievable for all, making equal access and opportunity to learn, grow, succeed, and thrive available to everyone regardless of gender, background, religion, and sexual orientation. P&G believes that when people can bring their best, most authentic selves to work, they perform at their peak and are able to make meaningful impact in the organization and in society.

These three P&G employees share what helped them overcome barriers in the workplace and what they are currently doing for the LGBTQ+ community:

Walking the talk with programs and policies

For Chester Hans Tolentino, P&G Philippines Finance and Accounting Manager, discrimination and stereotypes are some of the most common barriers in any workplace for LGBTQ+ community members to succeed. “A workplace environment that is not open to raise visibility and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community prevents its members from shining and performing at their best. It would be great for more companies to step up efforts to understand the needs of the LGBTQ+ community, engage them in dialogue, and create policies and programs that will eliminate unnecessary barriers they face at work,” shares Chester.

Today, Chester is proudly seen as he leads one of P&G Philippines’ Equality and Inclusion affinity groups called GABLE, which stands for Gay, Ally, Bisexual, Lesbian and Transgender Employees.  The P&G GABLE group was established globally in 1996, and it has helped create safer, more inclusive workspaces for employees.  Through GABLE, Chester gets to lead organizational-wide activities that drive and sustain LGBTQ+ visibility and inclusion in the company. He gets to dialogue with colleagues about real issues experienced at the workplace and guide them on becoming better allies.

On top of P&G’s inclusive programs and affinity groups like GABLE, the company also launched its “Share the Care” policy, its industry-leading paid parental leave program that provides all P&G parents – regardless of gender or civil status — with a minimum standard of 8 weeks of fully paid parental leave when welcoming new children to the family. This provides an equal opportunity for all parents – male, female, LGBTQ+, birthing, adoptive —to share the care duties and bond with their new child. This P&G policy goes beyond the standard 7 days paid paternity leave mandated by the government for fathers, and moreover recognizes domestic partnerships and legally adopted children as eligible dependents and beneficiaries of employee benefit programs. P&G also recognizes domestic partners of any gender as eligible dependents for key employee benefits and programs such as medical plans and life insurance.

Leading authentically

When Raj Traballo, P&G’s Skin Care Country Category Leader was asked what helped him shine in his P&G career, he said it was always about being able to fully embrace and love his uniqueness. “I believe that members of the LGBTQ+ community don’t need grand gestures or great recognitions just to be able to say that they broke stereotypes and succeeded in their careers – we just have to accept our authentic selves and be proud of it. To do this, we need to wake up each day and proudly affirm and say to ourselves, “this is who I am, I am unique and I love who I am!,” shares Raj.

For P&G, it is important for employees to feel included and come to work bringing their most authentic selves. It provides equal opportunity for anyone to succeed across its hiring, evaluation, and recognition processes, basing it solely based on merit and performance.  It fosters an inclusive workplace culture that values uniqueness and eliminates unnecessary bias that can serve as barriers to employees performing at their peak.

“I appreciate that P&G rewards its employees not for who or what they are, but for their impact to the company and their potential. Every day, my team and mentors encourage me to thrive and push my limits. I never felt that being a member of the LGBTQ+ community prevented me from achieving my goals,” Raj added.

Today, Raj inspires and leads his team bringing with his most authentic self to work daily. He encourages the unique strengths and diverse interests of team members.

Championing LGBTQ+ representation and voice

For Shay Tan, P&G’s Senior Brand Manager for Pantene, getting into a huge FMCG company like P&G as a transgender is a huge milestone for the trans community in the Philippines. “When I first came out to my parents, they were really worried that I would be discriminated against in the workplace and that I would never get a successful career being a transwoman. Five years into my professional career, I am proud and blessed to have been given the opportunity to work in world-class FMCGs like P&G, with ownership of one of the most inclusive brands in the world, Pantene, as its Senior Brand Manager,” says Shay.   

Today, Shay is responsibly using Pantene’s voice in advertising and media to spark dialogue and challenge biases that prevent LGBTQ+ inclusion. Pantene has long been an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, advocating for gender equality and diversity through their global “Hair Has No Gender” campaign which aims to raise awareness about the importance of hair and emotional support in an LGBTQ+ person’s self-expression. This is especially important for the transgender and gender non-binary community, for whom hair is crucial in the transition process but who are frequently discriminated against and misgendered when attempting to achieve the hair that best reflects how they feel on the inside. Recently, Pantene Philippines partnered with Mela Habijan, Miss Trans Global 2020, to share her journey to womanhood by sharing her transition in growing her hair.

As one of the largest advertisers in the world, P&G is committed to accurately portraying ALL people in its advertising; encouraging representation, avoiding stereotyping, never diminishing, never misappropriating, and always trying to reflect unique and relevant insights to tell authentic stories. For many decades, P&G has used its advertising and media voice and platforms to shine a light on inequality, inspire dialogue that leads to understanding, and fuel action that leads to meaningful change.

The company has been an industry thought leader for equality and inclusion in the workplace and beyond.  Last year, P&G Philippines was awarded the highest recognition for the gender-inclusive workplace category in the prestigious United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (UN WEPs) Awards in the Philippines. The recognition is given to Asia-Pacific businesses and corporations that have demonstrated exemplary adoption of relevant gender-inclusive measures in the workplace.

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