By Rio Rose Ribaya | Yahoo SHE
When Miss World 2013 Megan Young was interviewed by the BBC after she won the crown, the former TV host and actress made a telling observation.
Growing up, she said, “I did not feel that there was a difference between men and women.” Instead, she was raised on the idea that everything is “based on skill,” she said.
“If you can do something, if you show people that you’re capable of doing something, then you can succeed in life. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman,” she added.
CEO of ad agency Publicis Singapore
On December 17, just a month after Young’s victory, another Filipina brought pride to the country.
Lou Dela Peña was named the new CEO of global advertising agency Publicis in Singapore. Her term formally began on January 17.
Her “tenacious, hungry spirit to embrace the challenges of a radically evolving business landscape” was cited by Dean Bramham, CEO of Publicis South East Asia, the website Adobo reported.
Dela Peña said in a statement that the agency’s “vision of building success based on innovation, client obsession and entrepreneurship…(reflects) the same fundamental values that I strongly believe in and I have applied in building my career since I started in advertising.”
The University of the Philippines – Diliman graduate began her own agency in 1997 with clients like Kodak, Citibank and Jollibee.
She later brought her skill and talent to a number of international ad agencies, where she earned her executive stripes.
Dela Peña was managing director for Bates/141 before moving to Singapore to become business director for two leading ad agencies.
It was her winning pitch for Singapore Airlines that led Publicis to woo her from her post as general manager of rival agency TBWA and appoint her chief of Publicis Singapore.
Pinay replaces US news vet
Last Tuesday, another Pinay broke similar ground.
Investigative journalist Sheila Coronel was appointed the new dean of academic affairs at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Coronel is the first Filipina to occupy the position, replacing the 38-year news veteran Bill Grueskin who was the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal’s online edition.
A ‘terrific choice’
“Sheila’s a terrific choice,” Columbia’s new dean Steve Coll told the website Capital. “I had the good fortune to co-teach a class with her last fall, and I saw how gifted she is at helping students understand the power and potential of doing great journalism.”
Reacting to her appointment, Coronel said in a statement, “I am honored and delighted to have this opportunity to serve as academic dean of a great institution. We are at a period of uncertainty, as well as tremendous possibility, for both journalism and journalism education. It’s an exciting time to be at a top-tier journalism school.”
(Columbia administers the annual Pulitzer Prize, which honors excellence in journalism and the arts.)
Began career in political turbulence
Coronel began her reporting career during an equally exciting time.
In the 80s, she began writing about the historic changes that were taking place in the Philippines, when former dictator Ferdinand Marcos was losing his grip on power and Corazon Aquino was on the ascent.
As well as reporting for local papers, Coronel became a a stringer for The New York Times and London’s the Guardian. She also wrote about human rights abuses and later co-founded the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ).
A recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation Award for Journalism in 2003, Coronel was a political science graduate from the University of the Philippines. She earned her master’s degree in political sociology from the London School of Economics in 1991.
With additional reporting by Ces Rodriguez