Breaking the Bias: How TaskUs is Fostering a People-First Culture

According to several studies, “working Filipinas are burnt out with the intensified challenges brought by the pandemic with nearly five in 10 working mothers reporting difficulty balancing working from home with their roles as mothers.”

The pandemic has also intensified challenges that women already faced as working mothers already working “double-shifts” a full day of work followed by hours spent caring for children and doing household labor.

TaskUs, a provider of outsourced digital services and next-generation customer experience to innovative and disruptive technology companies, held a virtual roundtable session to discuss the challenges that women face in the workplace and what organizations can do to support their female employees.

The media session also discussed the role business leaders in the Philippines and across the globe play in order to “Break the Bias,” in theme with this year’s International Women’s Day.

TaskUs leaders Victoria Alcachupas, Division Vice President of Integrated Marketing; Vina Paglicawan, Director of Wellness & Resiliency; and Regina Aguila, Vice President of People, led a virtual media roundtable today to talk about the barriers of the Filipina workforce and how organizations can support their personal and professional needs.

“I believe that the first step towards a gender-equal world is recognizing that bias remains to exist even today,” said Alcachupas. “TaskUs is committed to being a part of the solution. Since the beginning, we have inculcated a culture of inclusivity and belongingness to our people. We focus on talent and skills, and not on gender identity or sexual orientation, race, background, religion, or any other societal segmentations. We believe that the more diverse the workforce is, the better.”

But the barriers that women face today extend beyond inclusivity and belongingness in the workplace; it can be seen in the multiple roles that they juggle both at work and at home.

The Bias on Wellness Insufficiency and Gender Gap

According to Paglicawan, work-life balance has become more important for workers, especially women. “The barriers that women are facing today imply that employers need to start looking at employee support through a different lens and consider the things that also matter: wellness and mental health.”

Working conditions have certainly changed over the past two years, especially for female workers. A LinkedIn report that surveyed women in Asia, including the Philippines, showed that mothers are having difficulty balancing their roles as professionals and mothers. Compounded by the intensified challenges (McKinsey) brought by the pandemic, female professionals have become more burnt out than the previous year, according to management consulting firm Gallup.

On top of the daily responsibilities that they do at home, Aguila said that women are also having some barriers when it comes to moving up the corporate ladder because of lack of support for women’s personal and professional development. These barriers include lack of flexible work arrangements, unequal pay, lack of the same access to career-making roles as men, and vulnerability to sexual harassment by predatory male co-workers, among others.

“In today’s modern age, in what we consider a progressive time for different gender sectors, 30 percent is still considered the tipping point for women to affect decision-making processes,” said Aguila. “This underrepresentation could be a result of the barriers that women face in the workplace. What employers need to do is to take more proactive steps in supporting the well-being and career development of their employees.”

Breaking the Biases by Fostering a People-First Culture

To address the common barriers that affect the wellness of Filipinas not only in the workplace but also at home, TaskUs’ dedicated Wellness & Resiliency team ensures that employees have the right tools and support to improve any feelings of stress, anxiety, or burnout.

“Our in-house life coaching program provides 24/7 access to a life coach or, in more serious cases, a psychologist or a psychiatrist for employees going through a hard time,” said Paglicawan. “The program contributed to the 94% employee wellness satisfaction score that TaskUs recorded last year in Q4.”

On Diversity & Inclusion, the company also provides equal conditions and benefits for all employees across all job levels. TaskUs has several Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) like Women@TaskUs for female teammates and Unicorns@TaskUs for the LGBTQIA+ community, that serve as the voice for the groups they represent and provide counsel and recommendations in policy-making and benefits.

For instance, TaskUs has 15 days additional paid maternity leaves in the Philippines, on top of other government-mandated benefits. The company also has its NextGen Scholarship Program, wherein high-performing employees can apply for a company-paid scholarship for their children or children under their legal care. Also, just last year, TaskUs introduced the Professional Development Reimbursement program that offers to reimburse costs of various professional development programs such as conferences, certifications, training, and more.

The Tuition Reimbursement program, meanwhile, offers to reimburse a portion of costs incurred while furthering our teammate’s education towards Associate, Bachelor, Masteral or Doctoral degree from accredited colleges, universities, or certificate programs. These are projected to empower TaskUs’ female employees to further their education.

“We have made it our goal this year to improve the representation of women in our company, starting with recruitment,” said Aguila. “Through these programs, we hope our employees are empowered to rise through the ranks while fulfilling their personal goals.”

Because of their relentless efforts especially in the areas of Diversity & Inclusion and Wellness & Resiliency, TaskUs has consistently received awards and recognitions from different industry organizations such as the Glassdoor 2019 Best Places to Work and Comparably’s Best Company Culture, Best Company for Women, and Best Company for Diversity in 2021, among others.

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