ALLY SPOTLIGHT: Filipina Women’s Network

By Afia BonnerFWN-logo-final

The Filipina Women’s Network (FWN), founded by a group of prominent Filipina women in 2001, aims for “Filipina women leaders in every sector of the economy including politics,” as CEO and Founder Marily Mondejar says.  Mondejar herself is a graduate of Emerge California, the Democratic women’s training program.

FWN has come a long way. At the onset, remembers Mondejar, numerous websites linked to the organization assuming it was a portal for mail-order brides from the Philippines.

Since the network launched, FWN has vastly increased its reach and influence, expanding to more than 1,000 members across the United States and internationally. One leadership program is known as The Filipina Women Who Could Be President Fellowship Training.

FWN also recently established a mentorship program called FEMtorMatch. Of this new initiative, Mondejar said, “I am particularly excited about the data on the skills and competencies of Filipina women around the globe.” The program harnesses technology to allow mentorships across state and national boundaries to encourage the development of Filipina women in the workplace.

Highlighting the excellence found in the Filipina community remains a pillar of FWN’s mission. Since 2007, FWN has recognized the “100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S.” As part of its going global campaign, this year FWN awarded its first cohort of the Global 100, “100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World.” In 2014, the annual summit will be in the Philippines, and in two years – Europe.  To Mondejar, FWN’s distinctiveness resides in its ability to highlight professional Filipina women “being multicultural and bringing our style of leadership” to the workplace.

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More Women Legislators = Progress: Nancy Skinner

nancy skinnerDon’t believe that more women legislators = progress?

California’s women legislators are helping protect California communities from gun violence.

Example: Assemblymember Nancy Skinner wrote a law that closes loopholes regulating large-capacity magazine rounds that can transform guns into assault-style weapons. The law makes illegal the purchase or manufacture of large-capacity magazines and “conversion kits,” which enable users to adapt regular magazines into ones that can fire more than ten rounds of ammunition with reloading. As of January 1st, law enforcement officers will be better able to safeguard all Californians.

Wanted: More progressive women serving in office.

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More Women Legislators = Progress: Carol Liu

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California’s women legislators are helping California students succeed in community college.

Example: Senator Carol Liu, longtime educator and school administrator, co-authored a bill that focused the state’s community colleges on student success. Previously, only about one third of California’s community college students graduated or transferred to a four-year college within six years.

The legislation implemented measures to help students stay on track to graduate. Now, students can take advantage of better academic counseling and colleges are set on increasing completion rates. Indeed to receive student support service funds, community colleges must post a student success scorecard on how well the campus is doing to improve completion rates.

Wanted: More progressive women serving in office.

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