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This year, professional services firm KPMG R.G. Manabat & Co. is celebrating its 15 years as one of the country’s top audit, tax, advisory, and technology consulting firms. To coincide with Women’s Month, the firm is also shining a spotlight on its women leaders.

At the forefront of the celebration is the firm’s first female Chairman and CEO Sharon G. Dayoan, who has been with KPMG in the Philippines since 2007. Under Dayoan’s leadership, KPMG in the Philippines worked hard to foster an inclusive environment that also enabled other women to succeed. "To me, a leader is someone that helps people maximize their potential,” Dayoan explained. “It’s a way of making sure people take something from us that they’ll always carry for the rest of their lives.”

For example, all women of the firm are highly encouraged to attend workshops that will help upskill them for leadership positions. Dayoan additionally emphasizes the importance of mentorship programs in the firm, which she makes sure is always available to women employees. 

Helping further Dayoan’s initiatives is the fact that there are also other women alongside her in KPMG in the Philippines’ Executive Committee, eager to lend their expertise and a helping hand. These include certified public accountants (CPAs) such as Emerald Anne C. Bagnes and Ma. Gracia C. Diaz, who both are heads of the Audit and Risk Management departments respectively. KPMG in the Philippines is also further strengthened by the presence of CPA/Lawyers like Maria Myla S. Maralit (Partner-Tax) and Maria Carmela M. Peralta (Principal/Head of Tax). 

Dayoan’s advocacy for women empowerment has even led her to co-found the Filipina CEO Circle, which aims to support both women already working in corporate and the next generation looking to succeed in business. Recently, Dayoan, together with other prominent Filipina business leaders, launched NOWCD or NextGen Organization of Women Corporate Directors, an organization advocating for more women representation in the board room.

Dayoan’s initiative and drive to empower her fellow women have not gone unappreciated at KPMG in the Philippines. “Today, about 50% of KPMG in the Philippines’ Partnership positions are filled by the most competent women I know,” Dayoan revealed. “It’s thanks to them that we’ve managed to stay a productive, competitive organization no matter the challenge at hand.”

Her sentiments on female leadership are not unfounded. Past reports from KPMG Global have shown that women have greatly helped the organization grow through crises such as the pandemic. According to the organization’s 2020 Global Female Leaders Outlook survey, global female leaders saw that one of the silver linings of the pandemic was that it could be a potential equalizer for a more inclusive workforce. It was also women leaders that remained steadfastly optimistic in the face of a challenge: 58% of respondents remained confident or very confident about their companies’ growth prospects over the next 3 years. 

Today, five out of the seven members in KPMG in the Philippines’ Executive Committee are women (including Dayoan). With women-focused mentorships, trainings, workshops, and programs steadily continuing at the organization, it’s entirely possible that KPMG in the Philippines could even be wholly women-led in the future. 

“When you enable women to flourish and realize their full potential, everybody benefits,” Dayoan concluded. “At KPMG in the Philippines we believe we’re setting an example for businesses to follow not just during Women’s Month, but for every day.”