and reach their full potential. While it can be an incubator of thriving careers, it can also be a place where creeping biases and stifling culture of inequality breeds.
For companies like TeamAsia, an integrated marketing experience agency, it is imperative that leaders in the workplace ensure that everyone is given equal opportunities to thrive and advance within the organization. It also believes that leaders should similarly veer away from any form of bias, so everything remains fair among employees–treatment, benefits, pay, and career growth.
From left to right: Nicolle Garrido, TeamAsia’s Senior Public Relations Manager; Joyce Alonzo, TeamAsia’s Account Planner; Elton Gagni, TeamAsia’s Associate Editor; Selena Herrera, TeamAsia’s Art Director; Andrei Carada, TeamAsia’s Senior Copywriter; Beverly Aguilar, TeamAsia’s Senior Human Resources Office; Darell Sapin, TeamAsia’s Web Development Supervisor
In celebration of Women’s Month, TeamAsia’s diverse and multigenerational workforce sat down and answered questions on how the agency breaks biases in the workplace and ensures equality for all.
- Do you see or experience equality in TeamAsia? How?
Joyce Alonzo, Account Planner: Yes! Gender equality has always been a key value that I noticed when I joined TeamAsia, with it being a women-led company. And even while this is the case, the diversity of individuals is notable, and I appreciate the amazing experience of picking brains with these experts, no matter their gender. The culture of equality in TeamAsia extends to how every individual is heard. An associate’s voice is as important as a director’s point of view. Because ideas matter more than positions.
Selena Herrera, Art Director: Our Directors and Managers in the agency are a good mix of different kinds of people – of different genders, ages, and walks of life. Even our different teams are composed of an interesting mix of personalities. Anyone can look at this TeamAsia team and say, “I can be part of that!” because there aren’t any limitations for what a brilliant or talented person can look like.
Nicolle Garrido, Senior Public Relations Manager: Yes, I do. When it comes to handling campaigns or even pitches, everyone in the team is given equal opportunity to lead projects that not only pique their interests but also challenge their expertise. Hence, we all have more room to learn and grow.
Being a woman-led agency, our leadership team encourages everyone to think outside of the box and fosters a creative and collaborative environment where everyone can share their ideas freely.
Elton Gagni, Associate Editor: At TeamAsia, you can see, feel, and experience equality everyday because it is the norm. For example, for projects that appeal to a certain market like makeup or skincare, one would immediately assume that it’s going to be an all-female team. What actually happened was our Public Relations lead was female and I along with another male colleague were the Editorial and Media Relations lead. So, it doesn’t really matter what your gender is, as long as you have what it takes to bring that brand to the next level experience.
- Do you feel that your ideas and opinions are respected and appreciated in the workplace? How?
Nicolle Garrido, Senior Public Relations Manager: Yes! As a manager, our Director also trusts us to make decisions for our teams and this has boosted our morale in providing valuable insights and solutions to our teams. I haven’t felt the need to seek my seniors’ approval to raise my thoughts and ideas.
Joyce Alonzo, Account Planner: Yes, I don’t think I ever had a problem with voicing my opinions. It may be because of my loud personality (haha!) but I also never felt embarrassed in doing so nor felt awkward because it didn’t feel right. We have always been encouraged in TeamAsia to speak up, even in workplace-related challenges that need to be addressed during our operations meetings because the management acknowledges the fact that the people in action on the daily grind are those that need to contribute to the solutions. These meetings and collaborations have always been goal-oriented, never personality-oriented, which allows us a safe space to interact, contribute and solve challenges as a team.
Darell Sapin, Web Development Supervisor: I do. Being one of the elder statesmen of the company, I am also among the people who encourage my fellow TeamAsians to speak up and share their ideas. In an industry where everyone spills one idea after another, it is important for us to hear everyone’s perspective and always put them in consideration.
Andrei Carada, Senior Copywriter: Yes! TeamAsia is a place where there are both loud voices and small voices, but each of these voices have an equal opportunity to be heard. We have a culture that tells us that it’s not about shouting above each other, but leaning in and listening to discover powerful ideas and insights.
I am one of those loud voices in the room, and my ideas are always heard. But here, it’s in listening to the ideas of those who don’t usually speak where the true beauty of collaborative work shines.
- How do TeamAsia’s leaders ensure everyone experiences equality?
Beverly Aguilar, Senior Human Resources Officer: In TeamAsia, we listen and incorporate suggestions of team members into our programs and policies to ensure fairness in all aspects. Our President, Monette Iturralde-Hamlin and our Managing Director, Bea Lim are great advocates of women empowerment and equality. They inspired the company to join the UN Women Empowerment Principles campaign to guide us in promoting gender equality and women empowerment in the workplace.
Selena Herrera, Creatives Manager: Ma’am Monette and Bea are always welcoming and ecstatic about having new people onboard the team, making sure that everyone feels a part of TeamAsia. Down to the details of our pitches and initiatives, there is always a thought to make sure everything we put out represents well the people that need to be represented.
Darell Sapin, Web Development Supervisor: Just leadership by example. Ma’am Monette and Bea live and breathe the essence of equality. Every time they would check our outputs, they would remind us of ensuring that inclusivity and equality are showcased in our work. At the same time, they regularly organize and even lead workshops that allow every member of the organization to grow and hone their skills.
Elton Gagni, Associate Editor: Everyday is an opportunity to experience equality in TeamAsia. We get paid not based on our gender, but based on our expertise. We are given opportunities not because we are male or female, but because there is room for growth and they believe in one’s capabilities to excel.
As a women-led organization, equality is manifested in every corner of the agency. From workshops and learning sessions to celebrating different occasions every month through Pop Up, even the former and current team members, we’re a diverse and empowered bunch. And this says a lot about how our President, Ma’am Monette and Managing Director, Bea are leading the agency and its people.
- As a fellow employee, what are the practices that you do or tips you would like to give to ensure equality in the workplace?
Beverly Aguilar, Human Resources Officer: As the head of HR, I ensure that I deal with every member of the organization and view their concerns objectively. I do my best to always have an open mind, listening to each and everyone of them, reminding myself to never recklessly pass judgment on anyone.
Nicolle Garrido, Senior Public Relations Manager: I always strive to provide an avenue for the team to freely express themselves and be creative with their outputs, but also learn from the experiences they encounter. Respecting each other’s differences would always be a priority also when it comes to having equality in the workplace.
Joyce Alonzo, Account Planner: Always practice objectivity. It’s effortless to practice equality when people within the organization prioritize the goals before any personal bias. After all, if we want to pursue purposeful work, we must do away with thinking of working for ourselves and think more towards producing great work that impacts others. And by that, we need to set aside our differences in order to make it work.
Just be a good human being. Treat each other as equals and do not set yourself as someone higher than everybody else just because of privilege or self-imposed standards. Being human is thinking that we have our shortcomings, too, and therefore it’s possible that the better ideas can come from other people.
Andrei Carrada, Senior Copywriter: I believe that it starts with you. It’s realizing that a culture of equality means that you have to make an effort to make an equal workplace. Having this mindset means that you have personal responsibility for making sure that biases don’t creep in.
- Why do you think it is important that a company practices/observes equality in the workplace?
Beverly Aguilar, Human Resources Head: It is significant to have a holistic approach. Equality in the workplace ensures people and employees are given opportunities, equal pay, and especially made to feel that they are accepted for being unique. Our goal in TeamAsia is to have an inclusive environment, where everyone can thrive, excel, and meet the best version of themselves.
Selena Herrera, Art Director: It is important because people shouldn’t be given less opportunities for something that has nothing to do with their work. Man, woman, young, old—people can always surprise you with their ideas. And to remove that barrier of unequal opportunities opens up the workplace to more growth. If an employee sees themselves reflected in their leaders, they will strive for more and for better, knowing that anyone is capable of doing amazing things.
Darell Sapin, Web Development Supervisor: It is important because the workforce has been diverse for a long period now. Lines have been blurred already with people being able to do things that are no longer the norm. It is only natural that balancing the workforce and showing that there is equal opportunity for all should be the course of the companies of today.
Elton Gagni, Associate Editor: Companies should practice and observe equality in the workplace because it is the norm, because it is what should be. A workplace that has equality at its core means they look at an employee, not because of their gender, but based on their merits. It doesn’t matter where you come from, as long as you are able to deliver, and in true TeamAsia fashion, bring people, brands, industries and communities to the next level experience.
For 30 years, TeamAsia has strived to be a company that embraces diversity, inclusion, and equality. It believes that everyone’s unique offerings is what unites and compliments each member of the organization.
A testament to this commitment is showcased through the agency’s projects. In 2020, as a women-led and women-owned organization, TeamAsia launched MommaCon. It is a virtual conference that opened the discussion on intimate and taboo issues women and mothers usually shy away from for fear of judgment.
In 2021, the company joined the UN Women Empowerment Principles to continuously maintain gender equality in the workplace. It upholds the international labor and human rights standards and recognizes that business has the stake and responsibility for gender equality and women empowerment.
As society continues to evolve and progress, TeamAsia will keep on fostering an environment that accepts differences and welcomes growth to help its employees reach their full potential and to further provide nothing less than next level experiences and services to its team, partners and clients.
To learn more about TeamAsia, its amazing workforce, and its next level services, visit https://www.teamasia.com/.