Jollibee Group: The only Philippine corporation in Forbes’ Top Female-Friendly Companies in the World
Fifty-two percent of leaders in the Jollibee Group are women holding key roles that span regional and global functions. L-R: Atty. Valerie Amante, Global General Counsel & Ethics Head; Beth Dela Cruz, Regional Business Head for Philippine Brands in North America; and Wally Mateo, Global Quality Management Head.
The Jollibee Group continues to celebrate women in the workplace as it fosters an encouraging environment that provides growth and holistic support to female employees around the world, consistent with its Forbes’ citation as a Top Female-Friendly Company. The Jollibee Group is the only Philippine-based company in the global listing, affirming its commitment to support the welfare of its female members inside and outside the workplace.
Women in Leadership
Fifty-two percent of JFC’s leaders are women holding key roles in its businesses across its global markets. These roles span regional and global functions in General Management, Legal Services, Business Technology, Research & Development, Quality Management, Marketing, and Jollibee Worldwide Services, among many others.
“We have a dedicated People Agenda in our business strategy, characterized by a people-focused culture that provides equal opportunities to everyone. This is our commitment not only as a female-friendly company, but also as a world-class employer that takes good care of its people,” said Ernesto Tanmantiong, Jollibee Group President and Chief Executive Officer.
One inspiring story of women leaders in the company is Maribeth Dela Cruz, President for Philippine Brands (Jollibee, Chowking, and Red Ribbon) in North America. Dela Cruz started as a management trainee for Jollibee Virra Mall in San Juan City in 1986 and later became a store manager before leaving to pursue a career in another company.
“It wasn’t long before I decided to return to Jollibee in 1993 as an Area Manager. JFC has values that are aligned with mine and it has a culture that I didn’t find in the other company,” Dela Cruz shared.
Dela Cruz held various roles in Operations before she was sent to the US to help accelerate the Jollibee business, which she has been doing successfully. In 2020, she was named as one of Top 50 Most Influential Women in the US Foodservice Industry.
Not only are women leading key functions in the Jollibee Group, but they also form majority of the company’s workforce. Globally, 53% of employees are women.
Wally Mateo, who’s celebrating her 29th year with the company this October, started as an R&D Specialist, rose from the ranks, and is now the Vice President & Head of Global Quality Management based in the US.
“JFC has a culture that allows us to demonstrate our technical capabilities and lead transformational changes. I was empowered to drive the growth and maturity of the company in food safety, quality assurance, and customer experience management,” Mateo said.
Under her leadership, Jollibee Group’s Central Quality Management team won in the International Best Practice Competition in Abu Dhabi in 2018, bringing honor to both JFC and the country. Mateo was also named Quality Manager of the Year by the Philippine Society of Quality.
“I’m grateful to have been given the leadership opportunities throughout my career that enabled me to drive strategic initiatives in different capacities, locations, and operating environments. I’ve been given the space to learn, grow, and continuously provide value to JFC,” she added.
Atty. Valerie Amante, Vice President & Head of Global General Counsel & Ethics, shares the same sentiment about opportunities to grow and evolve with her role in the company, but notes that her gender is a non-issue.
“Women leaders thrive and succeed in the company because we are not treated as ‘women leaders’ but as leaders. I am also a Person with Disability. Just like gender, this has never been a point of discussion. It is always about merit,” she said.
She adds that she takes pride in being part of a company that is both Filipino and global. “I have been privileged to work with and learn from business leaders in JFC who are internationally recognized as the best in their fields. I’m thankful that I’m able to provide for my family through work that’s both exciting and fulfilling, in a company whose values and aspirations are aligned with my own.”
Policies Supporting Women
Beyond embodying a culture where women can thrive, the Jollibee Group has policies in place to support and protect women’s welfare inside and outside the workplace. Aside from providing special leaves for women, the company also has a policy in place that provides leave privileges for solo female parents.
The company recognizes the need to protect the family and its members, particularly women and children from violence and threats to their safety and security. In the Philippines, the company provides paid leave benefits to female employees to allow them to attend to medical and legal concerns related to safety and violence.
“For over 40 years, half of our managerial leaders are female, and at times even more than half. We are happy to see all our employees develop their skills and potentials, and succeed in JFC,” said Tanmantiong.