UnionBank EVP to future women leaders: Be intentional, do not go with the flow

Aspiring leaders need to develop a vision for themselves and start being intentional about their goals instead of going with the flow. Thus said UnionBank Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Michelle Rubio in the latest episode of Orange Chair, a web series featuring today's top thought leaders and influencers. 

Guided by these principles, women have the capacity to break ground due to their inherent strength, Rubio noted.  

"Women have to be honored for being able to do many things, so we can be that change that we want to see for the world," she said, naming Rosa Henson, a comfort woman in World War II, as one of her key influences.

Having that drive for progress is the most crucial factor in climbing the so-called corporate ladder. As one of the leading banks in the Philippines, UnionBank guarantees a dynamic working environment that adapts to the new demands of the industry, Rubio underscored. 

Despite being open to change, Rubio emphasizes the importance of being intentional. For instance, Rubio has started taking necessary steps to realize her dream of becoming an entrepreneur when she retires from her corporate career. 

No matter the extent of ambition, intention and drive are key ingredients to achieving them, Rubio said. 

"My juniors and peers have taught me the importance of unlearning, relearning, and learning. We are a product of our past but what is important is moving forward and having that inertia for change. This is not just about the company, but also within us. We need to be adaptive and open." Rubio said.

Having gone through it herself, Rubio said that change plays a big role in her current job. Being in human resources, she handles the transformational aspect of UnionBank's employees. As its Chief Human Resources Officer, she harnesses their strongest assets to unleash their full potential. This is UnionBank's organizational design, a vision of Rubio's, which she developed and did not just build overnight.

Prior to working in HR, Rubio was a practicing engineer. In the process of dabbling in quality assurance and manufacturing, she discovered a talent for managing people–a pivotal moment in her career.

"Trust the capabilities of people to contribute, because everyone wants to do great things. Create a space for them to flourish and grow and enable that dynamic culture to happen. This is the culture of the bank: it's innovative, it's dynamic, it's agile," she said.

With the ever changing business landscape, UnionBank's dynamic culture is the secret to its success. The COVID-19 pandemic introduced new rules in the finance industry. Competition and directives are now unprecedented, and a strategic approach to human resources management is one way of facing these head on.

"When you don't focus on the people aspect, that change is going to fail," Rubio said.

Orange Chair is a Youtube series developed by UBX, the leading open finance platform in the Philippines, which showcases inspiring corporate stories that give audiences business insights, enabling the company to further drive its goal of including everyone. 

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