‘Women play an important role in the world’

Posted on Mar 29 2019

The men and women of TanHoldings Corp. working in harmony. (Contributed photo)

As the entire globe unites to celebrate International Women’s Month this March, TanHoldings Corp. rejoices with the rest of the world.

“I am glad to know that many countries in the world are formally recognizing and celebrating women—their achievements and the important roles that they play in the world,’ said TanHoldings Corp. CEO Jerry Tan.

“It is a reality that in many countries and places, women are not given equal rights or protection as men. That is why today, women have come a long way in making a mark for themselves and thus being recognized this month,” Tan said.

That sentiment runs through the veins of the company, which values the participation of women and their roles in the many subsidiaries. Their contributions are not underrepresented nor underestimated.

According to Tan, many women form part of the executive team of the company. “I think it is more than just equal protection in rights but it’s really about knowing that, in today’s world, women are just as qualified as men. In business, you will find more and more women becoming CEOs,” he said.

“In fact, many countries now have woman leaders, be it a prime minister or president, so the contributions of women is not just in the corporate world but also in the political world,” he added.

This was echoed by senior vice president Eli Arago, who is also in charge of human resource matters at the corporation. “At TanHoldings, our female employees are not defined by their sex but by their commitment, leadership, and integrity. They are valued employees, for they show a strong work ethic, set good examples to their co-workers, are trustworthy, and worthy of the responsibilities given to them.”

He said that many of the company’s female employees strive for excellence in their field to contribute to the continued growth of the company. They also actively participate in TanHoldings’ outreach programs to give back to the CNMI community. And are active in company-sponsored sports activities, like volleyball and futsal.

“We are so proud of them,” Arago said.

One such executives is Merlie Tolentino, who is the executive director of the TSL Foundation, the charitable arm of TanHoldings. She has been with the company for almost 16 years now.

“My work is fulfilling as I get to be exposed to various charitable programs and activities,” she said. “I feel honored working alongside such dedicated and talented people. I’ve never encountered any problems regarding stereotypical gender roles in my workplace. I’m lucky enough to be working in a company that is not gender-biased but is focused on developing and enriching its employees’ skills.”

Tolentino said that TanHoldings sees no gender distinctions. “TanHoldings has always treated its employees equally and does not account contributions to the company based on gender. I’m lucky to be in a workplace where I can continuously grow and hone my potential professionally without having to experience gender boundaries. I consider myself a successful woman, person, and it wouldn’t be possible without TanHoldings.”

She acknowledged that women are more empowered when signs of support and affirmation are given to them. “It is important that women stand up for each other to continue to fight for equal rights that is being fought by many women in the world,” she added.

Another female TanHoldings executive, Maria Luisa Ernest, who is the director for Human Resources for Asia Pacific Hotels, Inc., POI Aviation, Century Tours, Inc. and Gemkell, assured that the Human Resources Department does its best to ensure all anti-discrimination policies are cascaded through the company and applied fairly.

“…We partner with management to create an atmosphere where employees can focus on their work and know that they will be judged on their performance, and know that extraneous factors like gender or race won’t hold them back,” she said,

Ernest said she is inspired in working with strong female leaders at TanHoldings such as Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan general manager Wendi Herring and POI Aviation general manager Rella Kretzers.

“Both are hardworking, well respected, and considered experts in their respective industries. Above all, they are compassionate individuals who place importance on ‘connecting with employees,’” she said.

Ernest finds protecting employees from discrimination while helping them keep productivity at the highest level “personally enriching.”

“I think most people in the company feel that work is challenging but the trick is to make it rewarding and fulfilling as well,” she added.

Ernest, who has been with the company since 1999, assured that all female employees of TanHoldings are not defined by their sex but by their commitment, leadership, and integrity, and are valued employees.

“They strive for excellence in their field to contribute to the continued growth of the company and the community,” she added.

Bea Cabrera
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.
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