Alumni Knowledge Sharing Series (KSS)

Women Leadership in the New Normal

29 August 2020, 2:00 – 5:00 pm

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Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, women leaders have stepped up to demonstrate successful initiatives to contain the outbreak. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Finland’s Sanna Marin are some of the world leaders who have shown grit at the time of adversity and managed to keep it together as they efficiently and effectively managed the threat of the pandemic. What does it take to win the battle for a woman leader and what do we take away from the leadership styles and approach that our women leaders practice?

Plenary Speakers

 Mylene Abiva

Ms Mylene Abiva

Mylene Abiva is currently the President/CEO of FELTA Multi-Media Inc., a company engaged in introducing innovative instructional materials and educational devices for school technology. She is active in various organisations and has been a past President of the Philippine Marketing Association (2009). She is also a Certified Professional Marketer and an organiser of the Philippine Robotics Olympiad. Mylene was also received numerous awards such as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines (Women Entrepreneur) (2009), ASEAN Business Leader (Woman Category) (2014) , ASEAN Woman Entrepreneur (2015), 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World (2016), and the ASIA CEO Most Innovative Company (2017). In 2018, she became the World Robot Olympiad Ambassador up until today and a GO NEGOSYO Pioneer Mentor since 2005 focusing on marketing.

She is currently the President of Women Business Council Philippines (WomenbizPH), an advocacy group composed of the country’s top women business leaders and entrepreneurs. It seeks to promote women-led and women-owned enterprises through networking and through the use of technology.

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Comm. Sandy Montano is the newly appointed Chairperson of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and also currently a PCW commissioner representing the science and health sector. She is the founder of Community Health Education Emergency Rescue Services (CHEERS), a social enterprise which aims to better equip the communities in the occurrence of disasters. She received numerous awards such as the First ASEAN Woman Leader in the ASEAN Business Investment Summit 2014 and as the Outstanding ASEAN Women Entrepreneur in 2015.

Her outstanding work in prehospital care was also recognised by the Filipina Women Network as among the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World 2016 in Behind the Scene Leader category.

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Ms Angie Sta. Maria

Angie Sta. Maria is a Business Development Consultant at The Gallup Organsation and advises world-class clients on how to develop and optimize learning and development solutions that drive significant performance outcomes. Her primary areas of expertise are in Gallup’s Strengths-Based development, Employee Engagement, Leadership & Management Coaching.  Angie primarily oversees the business in the Philippines, providing one-on-one consulting to managers and executives on strategies to increase employee engagement among their team members.

Angie received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines and is a Gallup-Certified Strengths coach and a NLP practitioner.

Sectoral Thought Leaders

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Atty Janet Abuel


Janet Abuel is currently the Undersecretary - Legal and Legislative Liaison Group of the Department of Budget and Management. She is both a Certified Public Accountant and a Lawyer placing first (topnotcher) in the Philippine Bar Examinations held in 1998. She also holds a degree in Master of Law from University of Sydney and Master in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, and has attended the Executive Education Program on Driving Government Performance at the Harvard Kennedy School in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

She rose from the ranks in the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) from a Budget and Management Analyst in 1996 to Director IV in 1999. She held the position of Director IV for about 12 years in the Department’s Legal and Legislative Service for 2 years, then as Regional Director of the DBM Regional Office I for 10 years, until she was promoted to Assistant Secretary in 2012. Last year, she was promoted to Undersecretary.

As a lawyer, Atty Abuel had shared her legal knowledge by teaching law and as a Bar Reviewer in Bar Review Methods and Techniques, both for about 11 years until 2010. She also authored the handbook, Bar Review Methods and Techniques, 2003 edition.

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Dr Maria Soledad Antonio

Public Health

Dr Maria Soledad Antonio is currently the Director IV of Bureau of International Health Cooperation of the Department of Health and has been working as a public servant for more than 2 decades. She had her Doctor of Philosophy Degree at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia with research on International Trade in Health Services in the Philippines and her Master’s Degree on International Public Health at Hebrew Braun University, Jerusalem, Israel. She had her Clinical Residency Training on Family and Community Medicine and Medical Degree in the Philippines.

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Ms Joji Ilagan-Bian


Joji Ilagan-Bian is a highly respected business leader and educator in Mindanao. Currently, she is the President & CEO, JIB International Schools and the 2019 Australian Alumni Excellence Awards Alumnus of the Year. She initiated a partnership with Technical and Further Education, New South Wales (TAFE-NSW) - the leading provider of vocational education and training in Australia – which paved the way for her schools to receive Australian certification. This certification resulted in tremendous opportunities for her Mindanaoan students at the Joji Ilagan International Schools Network. She founded the MinTVET, a network of TVET schools in Mindanao, and has established foundations and schools in Davao City, including the first international school in Mindanao, that allows students to earn globally recognised certifications.

Joji is recognised for her trail blazing endeavours in business, hospitality, and education sectors in Mindanao.

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Ms Vicky Garchitorena

Technology and Innovation

Victoria Garchitorena is considered as one of the pillars of the Philippine non-profit arena. She was the founding Chair of the League of Corporate Foundations and Philippine Council for NGO Certification. She sits on the board of several organizations, extending her expertise to groups and associations whose advocacy mirror hers. She has been affiliated with the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation, EDSA People Power Commission, AIM Alumni Association, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, College of the Holy Spirit, International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Government, Management Association of the Philippines, among others. She was also a Board Member of the United States-based Council on Foundations and is a Senior Adviser of the World Bank’s Asia-Pacific Advisory Council Against Corruption.

She has served as the Senior Consultant of the Office of the President of the Philippines, the Head of the Presidential Management Staff, Secretary to the Cabinet, and a Director of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

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Dr Fernando Paragas

Media and Advertising

Prof Fernando Paragas, is a faculty member of the Department of Communication Research of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication. He was awarded by the University of the UP Centennial Professorial Chair in 2017 and the UP Diliman Chancellor’s Award for Exemplary Teaching in 2019. Prior to teaching at UP, Fernando was assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He holds degrees in BA Communication Research and Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning, both from UP, and a PhD in Communication and Media Studies from Ohio University. He leads a team of researchers that produced a 2019 study titled “Gender Representation in Philippine Advertisements,” based on an analysis of more than 1,000 ads that ran in 2018. The research was supported by Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government.

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Ms Mary Grace Belviz

Business / Social Enterprise

Mary Grace Belvis is the co-owner of Rosario’s Delicacies and Belvis Farm, a farm-to-table company that sells cacao and durian products with ingredients they grow on their own farm.

She took up a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Major in Horticulture from the University of the Philippines – Los Banos. In 2015, Mary Grace was accepted as a scholar in Ughent, Belgium to attend a workshop about cocoa and chocolate processing. She also attended the Australia Awards Women Trading Globally short course in 2019, a program by the Australian government for businesswomen in the Pacific region.

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Dr Marqueza Reyes

Environment / DRR

Dr. Marqueza Reyes is a professor at the Asian Institute of Management and formerly worked as ASEAN Technical Advisor for Disaster Risk Reduction, providing guidance and technical support in strategic policy development in disaster risk management as well as responsible for the developing, implementing and mobilizing resources for programmes and projects on disaster risk financing and insurance, disaster risk assessment, science-based disaster risk reduction, mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in development and sectoral planning such as risk-sensitive land use planning, and resilient recovery. Core competencies in policy analysis and development, project development and implementation in the areas of disaster preparedness, mitigation, and prevention, land use planning, urban and regional planning, and environmental management, further honed by experience in the field for more than 20 years. Marqueza received her doctorate degree in urban planning minor in disaster risk reduction (magna cum laude) at the University of Kassel in Germany. She finished her master’s degree in urban and regional planning and bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of the Philippines. She is also a published author of a book titled “Risk-Sensitive Land Use Planning: Towards Reduced Earthquake Disaster Vulnerability,” peer-reviewed articles on disaster vulnerability and risk in various journals, and editor of numerous international conference proceedings.


2:00 pm
iConnect: virtual networking activity
Opening Spiels / e-House Rules
Welcome Message: H.E. Steven J. Robinson, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines
Keynote Address
CRISIS LEADERSHIP : Responding to the COVID19 pandemic and future challenges
Ms Mylene Abiva
President & CEO, FELTA Multi-Media Inc.
President, Women’s Business Council
Insights for Women Leaders, The Gallup Organization
Breakout Session Guidelines / Transition
iShare: breakout session
Alumni sharing on sectoral response to COVID19 with prominent thought leaders
• Governance
• Education
• Business/Social Enterprise
• Environment/DRR
• Public Heath
• Technology and Innovation
• Media and Advertising

iConnect : interactive ice breaker
Presentation of Breakout Room highlights
iMove: Call to Action
Closing Message – Comm. Sandra Montano, Chairperson, Philippine Commission on Women