Want to build a career from the comfort of your home? Gina Romero, founder of Connected Women, can help you do that and more. Her startup is a job matching platform for women entrepreneurs and freelancers. It helps busy professionals get more done by connecting them to Filipino virtual assistants.
However, it’s more than just a convenient way to build your remote team. Connected Women is a game changer. It’s using technology to equip Southeast Asian women with the skills to take control of their careers. Instead of being marginalized to a select number of jobs, Filipino women can now work from anywhere. Whether that’s on a beach somewhere or at home with the kids, it’s never been easier to earn a salary online.
My mother, who is Filipino was one of these women who worked from Saudi Arabia and sent money back home to her family in the Philippines. At one point, the majority of money made in the Philippines was actually made overseas and sent back into the country. Initiatives like Connected Women are bringing the financial earnings back into the country, whilst giving more women opportunities to work from anywhere. Technology is the answer to this, as well as remote work culture which I am very supportive of within my company Mailbird as well.
For the women entrepreneurs hiring them, it’s the perfect way to pay it forward. As the saying goes “when women support each other, incredible things happen”. I sat down with Gina to discover how she is using technology to bridge the gender gap and equip Filipino women with the necessary skills to work from anywhere.
Growing up as a kid of an OFW
Gina’s passion for entrepreneurship and social mobility stemmed from her childhood. She grew up in the UK with her mom who was an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker). She left the Philippines in the 70s to seek work abroad as a domestic worker.
Over the years, I realized that many Filipinos leave their children back home to go abroad to find a job,” said Gina. “I wanted to create a solution for this by helping women embrace technology.”
It’s this desire that led to the idea of her startup Connected Women. The platform helps female entrepreneurs get access to talented remote team members while at the same time it creates better work opportunities for Filipino women that are just a click away.
The Future of Work
It’s no secret that the way we work is changing. Gone are the days of lifeless cubicles, instead the workplace of today is open plan, engaging and supportive of its employees physical and mental health. But even that is changing. Millennials are not interested in working traditional 9 to 5 roles, and this has resulted in another shift. Remote work has been a buzzword for the past few years, and it’s finally being seen as a way to successfully shrink the gender gap. Gina agrees, and it’s why she believes Connected Women will succeed.
Our taglines work with women everywhere because we believe that location-independence is a powerful enabler for women across all segments. As technology advances and applications like Virtual Reality mature, we will have an entirely different way to share, connect, work and learn. Connected Women wants to be at the forefront of this transformation.”
How Technology Can Help The Women of Southeast Asia
As we move towards a future that is more digitally connected than ever before, women need the right set of skills to thrive. Without digital literacy, the gender pay gap and female representation in sectors like tech will continue to widen and be male-dominated. Gina hopes to change this by connecting women at different stages of their careers to support each other and grow.
As an entrepreneur, I believe that professional development and entrepreneurship training should be accessible to all women regardless of geographical location, race, education and financial standing. We select the top 10% of applicants who qualify for our job matching program, but there is so much potential to increase that number if we can give them access to the training they need to succeed in the competitive global talent industry.
Despite the incredible pace of technology and connectivity advancements, the digital divide is real. According to a 2017 survey by GSMA, women are 38% less likely to own a mobile phone compared to men. We don’t want to leave any woman behind so we are partnering with global companies that care about empowering women through digital literacy and connectivity. By providing connectivity and technology training to women in the Philippines and globally, we can unleash the potential of untapped talent and create a surge in economic participation.”
We Rise By Lifting Others
If the gender gap is to become a thing of the past, we need more initiatives like Connected Women. We need more women supporting, encouraging and empowering each other to succeed. Each time one of us smashes that proverbial glass ceiling, we make room for more of us to follow in our footsteps and realize our full potential.
Andrea Loubier is the CEO of Mailbird – Unifying all your email inboxes plus productivity apps into one beautiful app
There are many awesome initiatives like Connected Women, but many women are not aware of them. So if you are someone looking for new opportunities or know other women who are, please share this with them. This small sharing of opportunities can change ones life forever, in the best and most empowering way ever. Again, a big thank you to Gina for all her hard work in providing solutions for women.
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