Teleperformance Philippines continues its advocacy of promoting inclusive workplaces through its recent participation in the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC) Department of Communication Research and International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Philippines’ webinar “Let’s Talk About Gender.”
Marilyn Romero-Ventenilla, Senior Director for Communication and Marketing of Teleperformance Philippines, joined various experts from the communication industry and academe and gave a talk on Genderlect, or different ways of communicating between men and women, as well as on Teleperformance Philippines’ commitment of being a Great Place to Work® for all, and tips on how to create and foster a gender-smart working environment.
Ventenilla shared that in their 25 years in the country, Teleperformance Philippines has been a true advocate for diversity, equality, and inclusion policies across their workplace, creating a variety of initiatives championing the LGBTQ+ community and women. Their recent Pride Month festivities officially established a TP Pride Council that engage its members in awareness and support community year-round. Teleperformance also has an award-wining HIV/AIDS in the workplace policy that promotes respect, support, and equal opportunities for employees.
In her talk, Ventenilla underscored: “People need to be conscious of using sexist phrases that may sound offensive to some people. It is crucial to recognize and understand the gender differences in a conversation to prevent the adverse consequences of contrasting conversations.”
She cited examples of terms that people can use to encourage more gender balance and inclusive communication. Humankind, workforce, people, chairperson, and head are some her recommended alternatives for gender-neutral terms.
She added: “If we meet people who have some allusions to discrimination that have become a standard for them, more and more people are also looking for ways of overcoming such references”.
She also emphasized that there should be an awareness of the pronouns or references a person from different genders may prefer. A more gender-neutral environment or society accepts the use of “they” and “them” pronouns. Pronouns portray a person’s identity. Hence, using their preferred pronouns signifies that people respect them and do not want them to feel invalidated and dismissed.
Most people might not be familiar with gender-neutral conversations, and adapting to these types of conversations could pose some difficulties for them. Marilyn believes that gender-neutral conversations need to be part of the norm as people live and move every day.
Ventenilla also talked about making the workplace as inclusive as possible and how companies can start doing this in small ways.