Mrs. Rodrigo with members of the Philippine Leadership Team (L--R) Human Resources  Lead Cherie Ocampo, Mophil CEO Sandro Rissi and Corporate Engagement Lead Chat Ocampo
Mrs. Rodrigo with members of the Philippine Leadership Team (L–R) Human Resources Lead Cherie Ocampo, Mophil CEO Sandro Rissi and Corporate Engagement Lead Chat Ocampo

Maria Elisa Cristobal Anson, known as Boots Anson-Rodrigo recently gave her talk about diversity to partners of Monsanto Philippines. More than 60 officers of different popular companies in the country attended the 2-hour Diversity Forum with the Theme Everyone has a Reason and the Ability to Excel.

Movie Workers Welfare Fund (MOWELFUND) President Boots Anson Roa-Rodrigo said that it was common for teams to have diverse values and beliefs.

She underscored how communication is very important to bridge the gap and handle conflicts in the workplace and knowing priorities in life. For her, in diversity there is humility.

Rodrigo cited example when she left her mobile phone that day and tried her best to inform her secretary and family of her whereabouts because she left cellphone in their home. Through the help of Jean Mea of Monsanto, Rodrigo contacted her secretary and family. These simple actions makes big impacts, she emphasized.

Rodrigo further highlighted that to help teams work better and make decisions leads to commitment and action. It is necessary to have clarity on the values that influence the decision-making process.

Respected Filipino celebrity Boots Anson Roa Rodrigo underscored the importance of diversity in ensuring the success of Teams
Respected Filipino celebrity Boots Anson Roa Rodrigo underscored the importance of diversity in ensuring the success of Teams

Former Vice President for Operations of the Citizen’s Bank of Washington in the United States Boots Anson Rodrigo said it is not easy to overcome challenges in workplace particularly the issue on ‘crab-mentality’ attitude but for her, it is better not to take it seriously, ignore negativity and pray, have faith in God.

Rodrigo mentioned why the former President still popular despite of several issues raise against Estrada, because Mayor Estrada knows his deficiencies, his feet is always on the ground.

Balancing work and family is quite hard because what suffered is her personal time, though she’s happy and contented in her life, Rodrigo admitted.

Monsanto chose Boots Anson Roa-Rodrigo because of respected track record in movie industry and corporate world. Rissi said Anson-Roa is passionate about values, diversity, and she is a credible person to look at.

Monsanto, a Century Old Agricultural Company

In the closing message of Sandro Rissi, CEO of Monsanto Philippines during the Diversity Forum, he mentioned that the company has been in the industry for more than a century which is founded by John F. Queeny and it was named after his wife Olga Monsanto Queeny. He underscored that diversity is the most compelling reason why Monsanto Company exists throughout the years.

Core Values of Monsanto

Rissi said that Leadership translates into values, “We need the people (staff), we need our partners”. Monsanto being an agriculture company, whose mission and vision is in food and there are two (2) words that make their foundation, it is Safety and Integrity.

The safety of employees, the communities where we operate, customers, consumers, farmers and the environment is the highest priority. In Monsanto, Integrity is the foundation for all that we do which encompasses four (4) values: honesty, decency, courage and consistency, he elaborated.

Rissi believes in dialogue. It serves as bridge that connects to everyone. It talks about transparency, respect, integrity and creating a great place of work.

By listening carefully, get insights and bring together to a table all diverse of point of views then understanding ideas to better address the needs and concerns of employees, partners, and society.

It’s not about money that makes a company powerful but it is the 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 underscored.

Rissi shared that even their people (staff) coming from different backgrounds who are running the company. There are those who were pharmacists, etc., and in most of their companies that ladies contributed a lot in the company, they bring the female in farming, deals with the farmers. “We cannot survive without the ladies.” Monsanto respect the religious, cultural, and ethical concerns of people throughout the world. Rissi proudly mentioned in his speech in Crimpson Hotel.

Rissi, an agronomist Brazilian is now at his 16th year in Monsanto was wholeheartedly saying that Diversity is an important value at Monsanto and is ingrained in the way the company does business. “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 underscored.

Rissi being the head of Monsanto in the Philippines was lauded by Chat Ocampo for being a good leader of their company.

Monsanto employees and partners who attended the Diversity forum
Monsanto employees and partners who attended the Diversity forum

Their Partners

Sinochem Crop Protection Phils, Inc., Insular Foundation, Inc. (Public Relations), The Insular Life Assurance Co. Limited (Real Property Division), San Roque Human Resources Corporation, BHA, Incorporated, Sunpack Packaging, AXA Philippines, Winebrenner & Inigo Insurance Brokers Inc., and the University of the Philippines League of Agbiotech Students, and some members of media were in the forum sponsored by Monsanto Philippines.

Meantime, Monsanto HR Lead Cherie Ocampo who opened the forum gave emphasis to the need for diverse business perspectives and the flexibility to work with a variety of people to sustain and grow Monsanto’s business across all world areas.

Ocampo shared that for the 8th consecutive year, Monsanto was recognized as one of the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity which resulted to other global recognition such as the Great Place to Work For where Monsanto ranked #7

Monsanto Continues to Serve

In separate interview with the media after his speech, Rissi told that their plans include bringing technology to the farmers, and bring services and solution that will increase farmers’ productivity. These plans require investment, partnerships and different thoughts, he shared. “We cannot make this alone,” Rissi cited, and noted the need for partners and people to be able to bring more to the clients or consumers.

Rissi in his final note said that at the moment, they are dealing with the challenge of feeding more people but less resources. Scarcity brings a lot of pressure to agriculture companies, he revealed.# (Cathy Cruz)


Author: tuklasinnatin

A Journalist and served government for 20 years. A community organizer who rose from a clan of artists and novelists.

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