Fostering Workplace Culture on Equality and Diversity

Kate Vergara
August 17, 2020

We take pride in our diverse workforce. To mark our 9th anniversary, we celebrated Equality and Diversity Week from July 27 to 31, 2020. The week was filled with talks and activities from internal and external speakers. Topics tackled were Feminism in the Workplace and Creating Safe Spaces for Persons of Diverse SOGIE, Workplace Anti-Discrimination, and Xilium’s Protective Policies.

Around 60% of Xilium’s employees are self-identified as female and to help identify the challenges, vulnerabilities, and rights of women in the workplace, we invited Professor Monique Myurgas from the University of the Philippine-Visayas as guest speaker. Her topic, Feminism in the Workplace, tackled women empowerment, women in the workplace, and the importance of women in the economic spectrum. The talk also discussed how women can be discriminated particularly in language, career, and representation. Professor Myurgas stressed that women empowerment starts in changing patriarchal narratives and establishing inclusive places where men and women can be equals.

Xilium is home to a diverse group of VMAs who identify as LGBT. To clear out misconceptions and create safe spaces for this community, we invited Gabriel Umadhay, Iloilo City’s Department Head of the Office of LGBT Affairs. His lecture,Creating Safe Spaces for Persons of Diverse SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression), discussed what SOGIE means and the different LGBT identities for those who are not yet familiar with or are confused with the terminologies. SOGIE is a person’s capacity to love or who they love, how they identify themselves or their self-concept, and how they would present themselves to other people. Gab also tackled the challenges LGBT people face because of their orientation, from limited industries to perpetuating myths (i.e LGBT is a contagious disease, certain identities are sexual offenders, and inability to have lasting relationships) and how allies can help out.

We also conducted two company-wide conference meetings in the week to discuss employee rights, the company’s stand on anti-discrimination in Workplace Discrimination, and an update on rules and regulations for the new normal workplace in Xilium’s Protective Policies. VMAs April Gonzaga and Jan Mar Panaguiton served as internal resource speakers about important health issues that create workplace discrimination, while support staff Rey Palmares and Charity Bandi-anon shared their advocacies on diversity and gender equality in the workplace.

Highlighting the week was BINGO night. Limited edition company goodies and prizes were up for grabs. Employees shared jokes throughout the game while waiting in anticipation for a number to be called out.

Genuine acceptance that goes beyond tolerance helps in the success and growth of any organization. We strive to be an inclusive, diverse, and dynamic company where anyone can feel welcome regardless of their gender, age, disability, etc.


Kate is a Xilium writer and a former lifestyle and business assistant editor at a local Philippine newspaper. She holds a degree in pharmacy and literature, so her writing spans holistic and alternative health, medicine blog articles, and advertising and legal services. She enjoys blogging, poetry, and short fiction and has published in indie zines and anthologies.