Celebrating Women’s Day and Month: Women in the Offshore Outsourcing Industry

We are closing the month on a high note – celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) and National Women’s Month with two posts about women in the outsourcing industry. 

IWD is celebrated globally on March 8. In the Philippines, the entire month of March is celebrated as National Women’s Month (Proclamation No. 227 s. 1988). You can learn more about the 2015 celebration on the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) website. This year’s celebration is doubly memorable because it also marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This historic declaration from the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 was signed by 189 governments. It’s a roadmap that sets the agenda for realizing women’s rights across the globe. You can also find out more about the goals of equality, peace and development from CEDAW. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly and serves as an international bill of rights for women.

Our first post, Women in Outsourcing, gives an overview of women in the workplace, not just in the BPO industry, and the changes that happened in the recent decades that helped make taking on jobs in the outsourcing industry an option for women. We also specified some of the ways the outsourced services industry can help women become more self-reliant and provide financial stability for themselves and their families. The post also features some case studies or examples of how women gained opportunities for growth in BPO.

The second article, Evolving Workplace, Technology and How they Affect Women in Outsourcing, Shared Services & Managed Operations, provides more information on workplace changes and technology. These two factors are driving change in business and in the outsourcing industry as they also help women gain employment and the opportunity to improve their prospects.

Figures from the PCW website indicate that more women in the Philippines are attaining higher education. During the school year 2005-2006, for example, 54.48 % or more than half of 2,483,645 total enrollees are females.

SY 2005-2006 Enrollees in the Philippines

Total Women
54.48 %

Source: Philippine Commission on Women

On the same school year, majority of female enrollees in the Philippines took up Medical and Allied Discipline courses, followed by Business Administration and Related Discipline courses.

Enrollees Medical, Allied Discipline Men
SY 2005-2006 Total
27.44 %
24.35 %
SY 2004-2005 Total 23.25 % 24.77 %

Source: Philippine Commission on Women

Figures released on July 2009 by the Philippine Statistics Authority indicate that there are more female employees handling business process outsourcing tasks in the Philippines:

2005 Total Workers in BPO Philippines Women

Source: National Statistics Office, 2005 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry

Women outnumber men in at least three outsourced services: Medical Transcription, Data Processing and Call Center services.

Outsourced Services Women
Medical Transcription 74.4 % 25.5 %
Data Processing 65.2 % 34.8 %
Call Center
58.8 %
41.2 %

Source: National Statistics Office, 2005 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry

Majority of the 45,225 women surveyed work in call center companies in the Philippines:

BPO Service Percentage
Call Center 62.8 %
Data Processing 14.4 %
Other Software and Consultancy and Supply
8 %
Other BPOs 11 %
Data Activities and Online Distribution of Electronic Content 3.8 %

Source: National Statistics Office, 2005 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry

Skills, education, training, technology, and an evolving workplace are helping open doors for more women to gain employment and opportunities, at least as far as these services in the Philippine outsourcing industry are concerned.We hope that the two new posts, Women in Outsourcing and Evolving Workplace, are continuing explorations of some of the ideas in our 2012 article Promoting Equality, Promoting Development: Empowerment and Opportunities for Women in BPO . If you want to learn more about outsourcing, please visit What is Outsourcing

We are certainly eager to see the figures from 2006-2015 at the PSA or PCW websites. Did the trends seen in this survey continue? 

Let us know what you think through our comments section below or through our social media channels.