Global Filipinas with lasting influence
PASSION. Excellence. Purpose. Just like the muse behind Philip Stein’s newest Legacy Collection. Meet five seemingly ordinary women who also exemplify these principles that drive them to begin and build extraordinary legacies.
Moore: Balance is key
When she’s not speaking to inspire other women about work-family balance, or working with her team as the regional director in Asia of Global Client Banking at Citi, Marie Claire Lim-Moore can be found enjoying time with her growing family and uploading photos of her husband Alex (whom she met while working in Sao Paulo, Brazil), together with their adorable children Carlos, Isabel and Sofia (whom she calls #littleMooreloves) on Instagram.
Claire’s daily routine is proof that finding the balance between personal and professional priorities is possible in this fast-paced, career-focused world.
Thanks to her mother (and father, too), she learned how to do this from an early age. And she made sure to share her knowledge and practical tips that she picked up along the way in a book she wrote (during her maternity leave)—“Don’t Forget the Soap (And Other Reminders from My Fabulous Filipina Mother),” which became No. 1 on Amazon.com’s hot new releases under the parenting and adult-child relationships category.
For Claire, balance is key to living her best life. “My team is responsible for Citi’s core global services, including cross border account opening, global view of accounts, Citi global transfers, credit portability and other international services. I love engaging with people from around the world at work but I also make sure that I recenter myself by spending time with my family, like having breakfast and dinner with my kids. Coffee and drinks with my husband. I also chat with my parents over the phone and WhatsApp with my brother daily,” says Claire.
Last year, Claire was given the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World Award (Global FWN100), recognizing her influence and leadership in the global workplace, and her contributions to society, female mentorship and legacy.
She is also featured in women’s empowerment expert Claudia Chan’s Remarkable Women Series, along with female role models like Arianna Huffington, Tory Burch and Zainab Salbi.
But the legacy she admires the most is that of her mother, artist and painter Lenore RS Lim. “When it comes to what defines you as a person and your time in this world, no one has a better legacy and for this reason I hold her in the highest regard. Like her, I hope to be making a positive impact through every relationship I have.”
“From my experience and observation, when you are living your best life, the people around you are inspired to do the same,” Claire adds.
As a Woman of Legacy, Claire believes that, “A legacy can come in many forms. In one way, my children are my legacy. In another way, my family memoir is my legacy. If I had to summarize, I would like my legacy to be that I lived my best life, learning from the past, living in the present and building for the future.”
Leung: Think with excellence
Theresa Leung is no stranger to the noise of the advertising world. Her career began when she worked for a TV commercial production outfit.
She then worked as an account executive at the embedded ad agency of the Philippines’ largest telco, PLDT and Smart Communications, for three years, after which she and hotelier Claudine de Leon started their own ad agency.
Finishing a BSC Honors degree in Business Information Technology from the University of Portsmouth, UK, Theresa believes that in order for people to hear your voice above the noise of overinformation, one needs to think outside the box, with excellence.
Today, she serves as creative director at Leung De Leon Marketing Solutions and loves every minute of it. “I run an idea factory composed of #AdvertisingRockstars that create and execute unique marketing solutions and events,” says Theresa. “I love it when I see our ideas come to life.”
Where does she get inspiration for her unique solutions? “Traveling around the world, meeting amazing people, having great conversations, listening to good music, tasting exciting flavors and appreciating different cultures—these moments inspire me to think creatively,” she adds.
And when the noise outside becomes too much, Theresa doesn’t think twice to tune in only to her inner voice. “I go and have ‘beach therapy’ at least once a month—and yoga when I can or when I need to meditate,” Theresa says.
“I want to leave something positive in this world and be able to contribute to society, starting from within my community,” says Theresa.
How does she do it? “I try to be the best version of myself everyday. I also share my vision for myself, my family and friends, my country and my countrymen to others. Then I take baby steps toward my vision and create a ripple effect within my own sphere of influence.”
When asked what she would like her legacy to be, Theresa says, “Self-empowerment. I try to lead by example and use powerful words to encourage others.”
“I’m passionate about education as a right, especially since not everyone in our country can afford to send their kids to school. Education is also an empowering tool for individuals. I’m a firm believer in self-empowerment and would want to challenge everyone to do the same.”
It’s no surprise then that the legacies she admires most are that of St. Marie Eugénie de Jesus, who founded the Religious of the Assumption at age 22, and Princess Diana of Wales, beloved worldwide as the People’s Princess.
“Princess Diana was charismatic and worked tirelessly for a variety of charities. She was a representative of the Red Cross and extended her support to battered women and the homeless,” Theresa says.
“And I truly believe in St. Marie Eugénie’s words: Education is to allow the good in every person to break through the rock that imprisons it and bring it into the light, where it can blossom and shed its light …,” she quotes.
Lao: Building a sustainable society
Working in the mass transport industry, Janice Lao is a woman who wastes no time to hit the ground running, especially when it comes to achieving goals not just for herself but also for the common good. “I wake up everyday knowing that I am making a difference in people’s lives,” says Janice.
“I work for a mass passenger rail company. We are linking people to things, events or people that matter in their life. I love working with my colleagues on finding solutions.”
As a trained environmental scientist and economist, Janice leads the coordination of sustainability initiatives for Hong Kong’s MTR Corp.
“I work on embedding sustainability principles in the business so that the business can thrive and succeed for years and decades to come,” she explains.
Her expertise lies in integrating sustainability into the business, rather than just as a traditional add-on, and her international work experience has taken her around the Asia-Pacific, North American and European regions. Due to rapid modernization, Janice’s work is often a race against time.
Which is why Janice makes sure she herself is also living a sustainable lifestyle—by making every moment of every day count. She looks for inspiration in her environment:
“Cutting edge design, people making a difference against all odds, greenery, my kids and my husband—they all inspire me to keep on going and achieving,” says Janice.
She does yoga almost everyday, and as a Fitbit fan like US President Barack Obama, she is committed to a 7,000+ walking steps pledge. “I also pray at least an hour a day with some meditation to center myself,” adds Janice.
Since graduating with honors from Ateneo de Manila with a degree in environmental science and economics, Janice went on to obtain an master’s degree on Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford (becoming the first Filipino Oxford scholar in the environmental change course), and a diploma in business from the University of Oxford Saïd Business School.
She has been awarded the 2014 FWN Global Most Influential Women of the Year-Emerging Leader; 2015 Global Sustainable Leadership Award and a fellow of the exclusive Pioneers for Change Fellowship Program in the United Kingdom.
For Janice, sustainability is something that benefits not just one person, but also the whole community. “If I can convince someone to think about how they can live their lives sustainably, no matter how tiny it is, then I have succeeded in building my legacy everyday,” Janice says.
She looks up to the legacies of dynamic women such as Lea Salonga, Margaret Thatcher and Aung San Suu Kyi. “Lea showed our generation of Filipinos what was possible—that if we work hard, be open and ready for opportunities and be authentic—we can reach mountains. I was inspired to try out Oxford because of her. And it changed my life in so many ways!” says Janice.
“I admire Margaret Thatcher and Aung San Suu Kyi—they both went to Oxford like I did, and they were strong women in a man’s world. They defied so many stereotypes and obstacles.”
“It’s crucial that I live my life with a purpose, and that purpose has always been consistent since I was a teenager—to make a difference in this world. That difference for me has been working toward building a sustainable society. I am passionate about getting people involved and in sharing in that legacy. The world’s problems are huge and we need solutions much more urgently now than ever before,” she adds.
“We cannot solve these problems in isolation from one another, we need to do it together.”
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