VETERAN actress Boots Anson Roa-Rodrigo, whose real name is Maria Elisa Cristobal Anson, is the guest speaker in the recent two-hour Diversity Forum of Monsanto-Philippines Inc. with the theme “Everyone Has a Reason and the Ability to Excel” at the Crimpson Hotel in Muntinlupa City.
More than 60 prestigious companies in the country have joined the forum as Monsanto’s partners. To name a few are Sinochem Crop Protection Phils. Inc., Insular Foundation Inc., The Insular Life Assurance Co. Ltd., San Roque Human Resources Corp., BHA Inc., Sunpack Packaging, AXA Philippines, Winebrenner & Inigo Insurance Brokers Inc., along with several media personalities.
Roa-Rodrigo, also the Movie Workers Welfare Fund president, recognizes the importance of communication in connecting business leaders for the purpose of exchanging and sharing ideas on how diversity and inclusion can bolter business innovations and can create sustainable growth opportunities.
Diversity in the workplace could be regarded as a positive for companies capable of managing it effectively and efficiently, but it could also produce negative impacts if not well-managed and addressed, she cites.
She underscores the significance of effective communication in the workplace for a cordial environment and good efficiency at work. “In diversity, there must be always humility and modesty,” she says.
Little things can make a big difference in one’s day, she adds, citing an incident when she was not able to get in touch with her personal secretary and family after leaving her mobile phone at home. As one good example of a kind gesture, a good friend, Jean Mea of Monsanto, offered her help to do her a favor, she cites.
She takes into account the substance of employees working together as a team in achieving the goals of the company and increasing productivity, and that crab mentality where they pull each other would do no good in the workplace.
According to Roa-Rodrigo, who once served at the Citizen’s Bank of Washington in the United States of America as vice president, former president and Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada continues to enjoy his popularity despite the negative issues. He keeps his feet on the ground.
Time management is important in one’s work and family life, she notes.
Charina Garrido-Ocampo, Monsanto corporate affairs lead, says employees who are able to adapt to shifting priorities are considered a valuable asset. Flexibility is necessary in the workplace, can help one strike work and life balance, and will make one responsive to changes.
Monsanto is recognized as one of the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity and even ranked 7 in the Great Place to Work For, she says, adding being flexible is good for the business of Monsanto.
Over 100 Years in Service
He gives credits to Monsanto’s commitment to maintaining diversity, inclusion and fairness in all aspects of its business.
Leadership is translated into values, he says. “We need the people (staff), we need our partners. Monsanto upholds safety and integrity,” he adds.
Rissi believes in the importance of dialogue. “By listening to others, you get more information and insights. You get to know your workers well, and how to address their needs and concerns,” he stresses.
“It’s not all about money that makes a company powerful, but it is about values. Every employee can contribute to a successful and diverse workplace. If we want to continue to have diversity in the workplace, we have to work at keeping it,” Rissi underlines.
Monsanto’s workers come from diverse backgrounds. The company recognizes the role of the women in the workforce on the forefront of Monsanto, even in the aspect of farming. “We cannot survive without the ladies,” Rissi says.
Monsanto respects religious, race, gender, cultural, and ethical diversity. “It is our respect for diversity that enables us to come up with the most creative and innovative ideas. It’s not about what you have learned from universities but it’s the idea you can contribute that matters,” Rissi cites.-30- (Cathy Cruz)