Said to be a company that values diversity and inclusion as a strong and integral part of its culture, Axa Philippines, one of the country’s insurance providers, held a panel discussion with its employees to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) this year with the theme, “Our Bodies, Our Rights, Our Lives.” It was also in line with Axa’s continued commitment to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community by standing up and speaking out against hate, discrimination, and violence.
On 17 May 1990, the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder and recognized it as a natural variant of human sexuality. This milestone now marks an annual celebration of sexual and gender diversity, known as the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, which helps educate people and raise awareness for the work still needed to combat discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.
For the panel, Axa Philippines invited notable members of the LGBTQIA+ community, namely Beatrice Gomez, the first openly queer Miss Universe Philippines, and Mela Habijan, the first Filipina to win Miss Trans Global in 2020, to share their stories. The discussion aimed to inspire people to continue to rise above the current limits of society and to fight for equality and inclusion for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. Gomez and Habijan were also joined by Axa Philippines Director for Human Capital Development Peachy Felix and discussion moderator, Lynn Pinugu, founder of She Talks Asia, which provides a space for inspiration and support among women across multiple platforms.
“At Axa, we take pride in our commitment to foster a culture that enables every employee to be their true selves in the workplace and ultimately, their best selves. This is one of the ways we can truly act for human progress by protecting what matters. As an LGBTQIA+ ally, I stand firm with this amazing community in the fight against discrimination and inequality. We urge everyone to join us in supporting and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and embracing a diverse and inclusive culture in the workplace and beyond,” said AXA Philippines Chief Customer Officer Nandy Villar.
As part of its effort to establish a diverse and inclusive work culture, Axa Philippines has also long been supporting gender equality through its Parent Policy, which has been implemented since 2017. The policy offers 112-day leave for new parent employees and aims to provide the same rights and opportunities to parents of all genders and sexual orientations.
Axa Philippines also collaborates with different organizations such as University of the Philippines Babaylan and LoveYourself, to help increase awareness about LGBTQ+ issues, promote equality in the workplace, and advocate against bullying and harassment. In addition, Axa holds an annual Inclusion Conference focused on LGBTQ+ inclusion.
With all these initiatives, Axa strives to be an equal opportunity employer in the Philippines and around the world, creating a work environment where all employees are treated with dignity and respect.
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