Manila, 8 March 2022 - International Women's Day (IWD) is an important time to recognize women's achievements in the workplace, and to highlight employer initiatives and support. Quisumbing Torres joins Women Inter-Industry Network's (WIN) IWD celebration to reinforce the shared commitment to help forge an inclusive society.

Tone from the top

Management Committee Member and Employment Partner Gil Zerrudo, head of the firm's Inclusion and Diversity initiatives, signed a pledge to support WIN's strategic objectives:

  • Leverage effective knowledge-sharing activities to promote gender equality and women empowerment
  • Promote awareness of women's rights relevant to the exercise of their functions in the workplace
  • Promote allyship to strengthen the foundations for a more gender-equal world
  • Support the women in our communities to help them grow and thrive

WIN is a collaborative, voluntary, and non-profit community of practice for equal opportunity employers and inclusive businesses in the Philippines. WIN works to promote diversity, equality, and inclusion in Philippine workplaces by collaborating with women employee resource groups and/or human resource/diversity teams from member organizations.

Inclusion and diversity in the workplace

While IWD events ramp up every year on 8 March, leading employers for women maintain a year-round focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion.

For global employers, having a diverse and inclusive staff is a business imperative. "We have the same values in QT. A diverse and inclusive workforce allows for a larger talent pool, and helps fill skills gaps, drive creativity and innovation, increase profitability, and improve competitiveness," says I&D Lead Partner Alain Charles Veloso. "Employees and clients continue to demand greater transparency and action from firms in order to eliminate inequality."

Reena Mitra-Ventanilla, lead partner for QT's I&D Subsector for Women, highlights, "Organizations all across the world are increasingly implementing progressive policies, practices, benefits, and support mechanisms to help women advance in their careers. These workplaces are attractive places to work." She adds, "When women's accomplishments and efforts are celebrated, more women are encouraged to reach their full potential." Reena is a Legal 500 Next Generation Partner for Intellectual Property.

At QT, the largest practice group, Corporate & Commercial/M&A practice group, is composed of 50% female lawyers. Several female partners across the firm are highly recognized in their respective fields by reputable legal directories, including The Legal 500 and Chambers Asia Pacific. Among them are Maria Christina Macasaet-Acaban (Corporate & Commercial/M&A), Divina Ilas-Panganiban (Intellectual Property) and Ina Alexandra Palma (Projects and Energy). Divina also received some gender notable awards: Leading Female IP Practitioner in the Top 250 Women in IP by ManagingIP for 2020/21; Top 100 Women in Litigation for Intellectual Property by Benchmark Litigation 2021; and, Trademark Lawyer of the Year for 2021 by the Women in Business Law Awards. Almost 50% of current associates are also women. Female managers lead the firm's non-legal professional business support teams.

QT also plays a significant role in promoting inclusion and diversity in the larger Philippine legal community in collaboration with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). Some initiatives include virtual events on relevant topics, such as Workplace Diversity and the Role of LGBT+ in Driving Business Transformation Beyond COVID-19, 50 Ways to Fight Bias and A Lawyer's Guide to Better Mental Health. QT is also the only law firm that is a member of the Philippine Financial Inter-Industry Pride. Charles heads IBP Makati Chapter's D&I Committee.

The advancing conversation around inclusion and diversity is resulting in strengthened monitoring globally. QT assists businesses in determining the effectiveness of their strategies for addressing inequality, as well as developing a strategy to create a level playing field that benefits both employers and employees, while also protecting reputations and ensuring compliance across jurisdictions.