By Afia Bonner
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.