March 15-16, 2023, Metro Manila – in line with the celebration of Women’s Month, the Global Partnership for Improving the Food Cold Chain in the Philippines (FCC) project conducted a career seminar aiming to promote education and career in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) sector for the youth, especially young women.
The number of women employed in the HVAC-R sector is low compared to its male counterpart, primarily due to restrictive sociocultural norms such as the prevailing belief that only men can work in occupations requiring strenuous work, expectations for women to take domestic responsibilities and family care and ‘glass ceilings’ that prevent women into leadership roles. FCC project aims to highlight the potential of women and opportunities in the HVAC-R sector by conducting an activity promoting education and career in the field for select young women from Marikina Science High School, Marikina Polytechnic College and Technological Institute of the Philippines.
The event featured key discussions on the RAC industry, career opportunities and women’s role in the sector. Women leaders in the RAC also shared their experiences and lessons learned in their education and career journey. Ms. Miriam Mangrobang, a manager in a top air conditioning brand recalled how she was dissuaded to take a Mechanical Engineering course by a university professor and her experiences being singled out as one of only five female engineering students from their batch. This only strengthened her will and determination which led her to graduate and pass the licensure exam. When she eventually joined the work force, she still faced skepticism, and sometimes discrimination, especially after giving birth, but it did not stop her from advancing and proving herself.
“My journey being a female technician and a mechanical Engineer in HVAC-R industry is not that easy. My career is not smooth sailing; however, I was able to go beyond my limits and took the risk in order to achieve my passion.” She said. Her advice for young women is “Always believe in yourself! Don’t be afraid in taking any risk because only a persevering, passionate and hardworking person will be rewarded.”
FCC Project Lead Gilda Garibay, an Engineer herself, strongly encouraged the audience to explore HVAC-R opportunities as demand for skills in the industry is increasing. “We need to redefine what women can do. Women are strong and capable enough as men to be part of the HVAC-R workforce and lead in this field. This can only be attained through the lens of gender equality with our male counterparts as allies”, she said.
National Policy and Regulations Coordinator
Global Partnership for Food Cold Chain in the Philippines Project