Erika Villanueva

DOCUMENT CONTROLLER
WSP Manila

 

As a founding member of the VIBE Community at WSP Manila, Erika is encouraged to use this platform to facilitate an inclusive and diverse workplace.

Tell us about your experience being a member of the Vibe/Pride community at WSP? What difference has it made to you personally by being part the pride team at WSP?

As a member of the VIBE community at WSP Manila, I have had the opportunity to openly represent the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace, in large part due to feeling accepted for who I am as a transgender woman. It has given me a voice to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ rights and has empowered me to be myself amongst my colleagues.

How has being part of the Pride team supported you in your professional life?

The VIBE team gave me the support and the courage to take pride in my company and my profession. My teammates encourage me to do my best and are always available to provide advice on overcoming challenges. They help me be a stronger, more passionate version of myself.

VIBE is one of the reasons why I love working for WSP. It is proof that the company cares for all its employees.

What does pride at the WSP workplace mean to you and how does the organization put it to practice?

As a transgender woman, knowing that I am respected, and my efforts are acknowledged makes WSP one of the best companies I’ve worked for. Initiatives like the VIBE community creates a diverse and inclusive community that empowers people of all genders to contribute towards excellence and success. It is a great to feel that I belong in a company that promotes gender equality and where I can proudly walk in the office without feeling judged.


In what ways has your group adapted during the pandemic? What is the impact on your planned celebrations for Pride month?

I am happy that despite the pandemic and our adjustment to working from home, the VIBE in Manila community was still able to create awareness. We were encouraged by senior management to be the voice of diversity and inclusiveness in the office. As one of the five founding members, contributing to VIBE in Manila has created an elevated platform for me to establish a safer place for my LGBTQ+ colleagues at work. Although we have yet to march in Pride events together, I am honoured to represent the LGBTQ+ community in ways I have never been able to in my previous workplaces and I look forward to waving the Pride Flag bearing the WSP logo in the future.


Is there anything you have learned during this pandemic that you would like to see continue?

VIBE is one of the reasons why I love working for WSP. It is proof that the company cares for all its employees. At WSP Manila, my colleagues have always been very welcoming and accepting. Everyone does their best to make each other feel a sense of belonging and part of the family. The Filipino culture, despite being conservative, is generally warm towards members of the LGBTQ+ community, which runs true in our workplace. One of the things that I realized best during this pandemic is that most people reach out to each other to make sure that everyone is coping well.

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