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Teaching kids about equality and inclusion

P&G PHILIPPINES President and General Manager Raffy Fajardo with wife Frances and their daughters (left), and P&G’s Sales Director for the Omni-Retail Channel Vince Murga with wife Billie and their baby girl.

AS parents, we know our kids are growing up in a more diverse world than that we grew up in. Part of raising a 21st century learner, according to Hirsh-Pasek, is teaching kids the value of collaboration. Aside from learning to get along with others and building teamwork, collaboration also involves experiencing diversity.

As a parent and an educator, I believe this skill is one of the most important, yet one of the hardest to teach. That’s why I was so glad to discover how global consumer brand P&G is at the forefront of exemplifying equality and inclusion in the workplace. I have always believed that our work should make us better parents, because of the new learnings we get to pass on to our kids.

For more than 180 years, P&G has nurtured and developed a diverse work force. They have passed their purpose, values and principles down from generation to generation of employees, to guide how they conduct business, including how they treat each other and the commitments to the people they serve.

They aspire to create a world free from all types of bias based on race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and background. They believe in the power of differences and the impact we can make when we come together united by shared values and purpose. They have come together as a company and with others to advocate for diversity and inclusion beyond their walls—leveraging their message in advertising, investing with diverse suppliers, and partnering with companies and non-profits to learn from each other and expand their collective impact.

In line with this new “equality and inclusion” strategy, P&G’s plan of holistic and integrated action is to make meaningful impact in four key areas: employees, brands, partners and communities. The company believes that equality takes people beyond diversity. For them, equality is the state or experience of being equal, particularly in status—in rights and opportunities. Inclusion is the feeling of belonging. P&G believes that when people feel supported in being themselves, this leads to people becoming their best. They rally for equality and inclusion for all because they believe it is better for communities, companies and economies when this is true.

Last January, P&G launched a new global Paid Parental Leave minimum standard, which marks an important milestone in the company’s journey to driving positive change through real action. The company’s ShareTheCare offers all parents, regardless of gender and marital status, the opportunity to care for and bond with children new to their family, setting eight weeks of fully paid leave as the minimum standard for each parent. This is beyond the standard seven days mandated by government for fathers. Birth and adoptive mothers continue to receive 105 days maternity leave. This new framework aims to remove gender bias from child caregiving by giving all P&G parents equitable access to paid leave and hence shift cultural norms.

Aside from providing parents more time to engage with their kids, this policy also supports the view of shared obligations of both partners in caring for their child and family.

Leading this forward view in the country is P&G Philippines president and general manager Raffy Fajardo. In an online conference, I liked how he put the whole intent of this movement by saying, “It is the right thing to do!” It reflects his 21 years of living through the company’s values and clearly shows its commitment to honoring individuality and the unique contributions of each member of the company.

Raffy is a father of two girls with his wife Frances. I also thought it would be best for us parents, both moms and dads, to learn about simplified parenting from him. True to the concept of bringing learning from work, Raffy applies the “no-fly zone” policy from work at home.

This defined time zone means a parent setting aside this period for pure family time. According to Raffy, these times simplify parenting “because the more time you spend with your kids, the more you get to know them; the more they trust you and the easier it becomes to communicate with them.”  Whether it be lunch, bonding or exercise times together, Raffy underscores the need to free up such time.

It is good to know that as much time as P&G devotes in being at the forefront of consumer goods—staying ahead in trends of upsizing affordable essentials, accessibility and innovation of products—it also takes its commitment to consumers and employees to an equally high standard. At the onset of this pandemic, P&G reconfigured its Cabuyao plant in six weeks to produce face masks, and was able to donate 2 million face masks to frontliners by June. As consumers, even if we are not part of their work force, we should bring home P&G’s values of equality and inclusion in our own families, and hopefully raise more collaborative kids in the process. 

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