DC panel tackles different expectations of women in the workplace

/ 12:28 AM March 14, 2018

Seen here with Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez are, from left to right, National Public Radio Associate Producer Ashley Westerman; InterIntellectus NFP founder and game designer Pattie Umali; graphic designer Josie Thompson; and Embassy Gender and Development Officer Darell Artates are the panelists of the “Women in Creative Industries” discussion held in celebration of International Women’s Day at the Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex on  March  8. CONTRIBUTED

WASHINGTON, D.C. A panel discussed how different expectations of women and men have affected them in their chosen fields, at an event marking International Women’s Day, March 8, at the Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex building.

Entitled “Women in Creative Industries,” panelists examined stereotypes, compensation gaps, and barriers to reaching leadership roles are just some of the gender-related issues and challenges that they have encountered in their workplaces, panelists concurred.


The Philippine Embassy, in partnership with the Filipino Young Professionals of Washington, DC (FYPDC), hosted the event.

The discussion was led by Josie Thompson, a self-employed graphic designer and partner of the joint venture Support for Success; Ashley Westerman, associate producer of Morning Edition at National Public Radio and a two-time reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists; and Pattie Umali, international education practitioner and founder of InterIntellectus NFP that prepares individuals for global citizenship and the international workplace through technology, gaming, and media. The Embassy’s Gender and Development Officer, Darell Artates, served as moderator.


Members of the audience engage with the panelists in a brief Q&A session. CONTRIBUTED

“This Women’s Month, the Embassy has partnered with the Filipino Young Professionals of Washington, DC to bring together three Filipino American women engaged in the creative sectors,” Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez said in his opening remarks.

“By sharing with us their experiences and insights, we hope to gain greater understanding what more needs to be done in order to achieve gender balance and inclusiveness in these fields,” Ambassador Romualdez added.

“I think that women have to unfairly pick their battles, especially women of color. We talk about this a lot in media, and in NPR, because I am a part of the diversity coalition of the NPR and we have a lot of things that we want to do. We want to be paid fairly, but we also need more diversity, and so you have to pick and choose your battles,” Ashley Westerman observed.

Filipino Young Professionals of Washington DC President Christal Simanski delivers the closing remarks of the Women in Creative Industries panel discussion on 08 March 2018. CONTRIBUTED

“I think these days there are a lot of game developers who are of course gamers themselves who feel like social outcasts, and a lot of gamers enjoy identifying with the social outliers that are in characters in games. And so there are a lot of male game developers that are coming around and are starting to recognize that females should be recognized and appreciated,” said Pattie Umali as she shared her thoughts on having “male allies” in the creative industries.

“If an opportunity comes, you need to just say ‘yes’. Say ‘yes’ because at least it’s going to start something because you are in the room. That is a big thing, to be in the room,” Josie Thompson pitched in on what more needs to be done in order to make gains in gender equality.

The panelists also fielded questions from the audience. FYPDC President Christal Simanski officially closed the event and a simple reception followed the official program.

Part of the Embassy’s International Women’s Day 2018 celebration was setting up a special passport encoding station for female applicants, in line with the Philippine Government-wide “Serbisyo Para Kay Juana” initiative.


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TAGS: “Women in Creative Industries”, challenges for women, Filipino Young Professionals of Washington DC, gender discrimination, gender equality, International Women’s Day, pay gaps, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel G. Romualdez, women in the workplace, women stereotypes
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