The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has relaunched a recruitment and capability-building program for aspiring female linecrew members as part of the Company’s commitment to drive and heighten gender diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
The Meralco Linecrew Training Program (MLTP) aims to develop a pool of skilled female line workers, who are envisioned to eventually become part of the Meralco workforce.
A total of 15 individuals will be part of the newest batch of trainees under the MLTP. For a period of five months beginning May, they will undergo a series of lectures and rigorous physical training and endurance conditioning programs that will build and hone their skills to properly use manually operated tools and safely climb Meralco utility poles. They will subsequently be assessed for hiring and deployment.
Meralco, which operates in a traditionally male-dominated industry, pioneered the training and hiring of female linecrew in Southeast Asia back in 2013. The power distributor currently has nine female line workers who help deliver reliable electricity service to Meralco customers.
Charmaine Angeles, who was part of the pioneering batch and currently works as a linecrew member at Meralco’s Valenzuela Sector, said that the program helped broaden her knowledge and experience in her line of work.
“I learned how to drive a truck, got along with my colleagues, and most importantly, helped in delivering electricity service to homes,” she said in Filipino, adding: “I believe that women are also capable of doing what men do. It only takes courage, knowledge, positivity, and trust in oneself to be a successful linecrew member.”
Solidifying commitment to diversity and inclusion
The MLTP is among the initiatives on gender inclusivity geared towards helping Meralco reach its goal to have women employees represent 40% of its workforce by 2030.
Meralco’s recently established policy on Diversity and Inclusion further cements its commitment to advancing workforce diversity and to nurturing an inclusive and safe workplace for its employees by ensuring equal employment opportunities for all.
Through this new policy, Meralco pledges to respect all individual and value differences across gender, age, ethnicity, physical appearance, health, family status, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic background.
“The Company believes that when its people feel respected, valued, and treated fairly, they are more motivated to perform – delivering the Meralco core value of malasakit when serving customers and community,” the policy states.
The Diversity and Inclusion Policy extends to all areas of Meralco’s business and is also promoted across the Company’s subsidiaries and affiliates.
In addition, earlier this year, Meralco partnered with Don Bosco College-Canlubang for a technician scholarship program that will benefit 15 aspiring female electrical technicians.
The program will cover the tuition fees and allowances of the students who will undergo the Technical Vocational Education Training Program for the dual NC II Program on Electrical Installation and Maintenance and Mechatronics beginning August.
All the above initiatives fall under Meralco’s overarching Diversity and Inclusion program called #MBrace, which aims to promote and nurture a gender-balanced and inclusive workplace.
#MBrace’s aims are aligned with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) 5 on Gender Equality and UN SDG 10 on Reduced Inequalities.
The program also fortifies Meralco’s commitment to the UN Global Compact’s Principle 6 on Elimination of Discrimination in Employment, and supports the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles as well as the advocacies of the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment.