Lessons From an Introvert Boss: Why Women Should Strive for Equity, not Equality in the Workplace
Being a boss was not in the cards for Marites Dagdag—the General Manager of Clorox Company. But she embraced the role and made waves for the brand. Here's how.
Unlike most heads of companies, Marites Dagdag did not aspire to be a boss. A product of the country’s public school system from pre-school to college, she candidly admits that all she ever wanted was to contribute to her family’s income. She even fondly recalls helping her mother prepare sandwiches so the latter could sell them at work in the public school where she taught.
“I’ve always been an introvert. I’m not one to start conversations or volunteer to lead a group," Marites reveals. "My adoptive mom (Marites only found out she was adopted right before the woman who raised her died.) had great belief in my capabilities. She wanted me to take up Journalism because I wrote well. I eventually took up BS [in] Economics and graduated from UP.”
Surprisingly, Marites’ first job had nothing to do with her course. “During my time, graduates would carry their resumes from office to office. I was just too happy to get hired! My first employer was a bank and there, I had to learn IT on the fly. Then, I moved to multinational companies in [the] consumer and B2B industries."
"Although my earlier jobs were all IT-related, I did not see myself advancing or wanting to stay in that field. In a gutsy move, I asked to be transferred to sales. That role exposed me to finance after which I learned operations, and worked up to levels of increasing responsibility,” she continues.
Presently, Marites is the General Manager of The Clorox Company Southeast Asia (Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore)—a position she has held for the last 15 years. The company’s portfolio is made up of diverse brands sold in more than 100 countries. These include among others: cleaning materials (Clorox), personal care products (Burt’s Bees), vitamins and supplements (multi brands), trash bags and plastic food storage (Glad), and car care products (Prestone).
This is her story.
It’s a (Wo)man’s World
As a woman leader, Marites prefers to be inclusive and collaborative. “I’m deliberate in developing a work environment where the team is energized to bring their best to work every single day, believe their contributions are valued, and where their opinions are heard in a safe space," she explains.
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