iMoney Philippines Country Manager Shares What It’s Like To Be A Woman Boss

iMoney Philippines Country Manager Shares What It’s Like To Be A Woman Boss

The Philippines recently topped Grant Thorton’s International’s 2020 Women in Business annual report. The study tracked the number of women occupying senior management roles and our country came out on top. iMoney is proud to be one of the businesses that continue to uplift and empower women bosses in the Philippines. 

Holding together our team in the Philippines is Pearl Joy Gonzales, the Country Manager of iMoney Philippines. In her 4 years with the company, Pearl has managed the growing business in all its key departments from call center to business development and forging corporate partnerships with clients in the finance industry in the Philippines. 

Our boss is the very embodiment of a successful woman in business today. In celebration of 2020 National Women’s Month, let’s get up close to this self-made boss who gracefully made her way to the top of the corporate ladder to share the story of her journey with our readers. 

Up close and personal

Pearl started out her career in personal finance as an insurance agent. She shared her experience on how selling insurance is never an easy feat. Aside from the fact that it isn’t a tangible product, it’s taboo for Filipinos to talk about death and misfortune. Fortunately, she pulled through in her first job thanks to her mentors who guided and trained her well. 

Pearl admitted that she had not set out to build a career in the fintech sector but when offered the opportunity to join a fast-growing regional fintech company, she took on the challenge to propel her career to greater heights. 

She succeeded by playing with the cards that she’s been dealt with. In her own words:

We have to make the best of our situation and bloom where we are planted.

Pearl’s role model growing up was her mother, a self-made business woman who originated from the provinces but later on moved to the big city to grow her business and support her family. She proudly described her mother as a jack-of-all-trades – a business woman, interior decorator, real estate broker and jewelry designer to name a few, and how it inspired her to aim to achieve big in life.

Being a bonafide woman boss, for Pearl what it means is to be someone who has got it figured out, knows her strengths and weaknesses and always lifts the people around her and push them to their full potential. 

A day in her life

Given the tremendous amount of responsibility of leading her country’s team, Pearl admitted that it can be overwhelming but along with new learnings, she finds the experience rewarding. She realized that no amount of pressure can undermine the company’s goal of empowering every Filipino to make intelligent decisions on money matters. 

For Pearl, it is always a good day at work. There are stressful days because of the avalanche of work that needs to be accomplished but she’s always happy to be with her team and to work with them. It is all about having the right perspective, how you spin things and turn it in a positive way. With the right mindset – “growth mindset” – you won’t consider any day a bad day. 

Our Country Manager is not just a full-time boss, but also a full time mom. How does she manage to keep the balance between work and her family? Here are her secrets:

  1. Time management is very important.
    “I stick to my schedule as much as I can and be 100% present when spending time with family.”
  2. Set realistic expectations.
    “You have to accept the fact that you cannot do all things at the same time and you should delegate and ask for help. I’m lucky to have my sister assist me to look after my kids and to manage the household. A superwoman has always got a partner/sidekick up her sleeve.”
  3.  I choose to spend quality time for myself. 
    “Self-care is essential for me to function well, to be the best for my family, friends, and colleagues.”

The challenges that come with being a woman boss

While in the Philippines, being a woman in power is now a norm, it still comes with its own set of challenges. 

How is your life as the Country Manager of iMoney Philippines?

Difficult yet rewarding most especially when I see the team progressing and growing in each of their own roles. More importantly, we see the value of our work when we are able to help consumers find the best financial product according to their needs. 

Have you ever doubted yourself in holding such a position and why?

Yes. During my first year as a Country Manager, honestly I thought I wasn’t ready for it but I’m always up for the challenge. When an opportunity comes knocking, you just have to go for it and give it your best shot.

What part of the business or your job is specifically tough?

My position is proof that higher-ups expect me to handle each and every challenge and that success or failure at the company is, in part, in my hands. It is tough when you are expected to exceed and over-deliver against your target but I always take it as a journey of continuous learning and self-development.

How do you stay motivated in this very competitive and fast-paced industry?

Motivation is a fire from within. If you visualize success and would like to be successful in whatever field you are in, you create your own path in achieving that goal. No challenge or external circumstance will ever take away that inner motivation to push forward and be successful. One’s goal is enough motivation and the biggest reason to succeed.

Money matters

Dealing with finances can be even more challenging for a parent, all the more for a single mother. But Pearl manages to pull through and continues to nail it. 

1. What's your mantra when it comes to money?

One can only reap in abundance if you sow wisely.

2. How have you managed financial challenges in the past and the present (if applicable)?

I’ve gone through difficult times during my separation with the ex-husband and being a single mom, I have learned to live within my means. 

3. What’s your next big life goal?

Moving to my own place.

4. Any money tips you can share?

  • Plan and save for rainy days. If you don’t know where and how to start, ask for help, seek advice and read iMoney’s how-to guides to get you started.
  • Teach kids the value of money. Start them young. You’ll be surprised on their creative ideas and their financial goals.
  • Set a financial goal. Visualize what you want to accomplish with numbers and dates. Example: How much do you want saved and by what date?

And just like every other woman, Pearl also has her own quirks, guilty pleasures, and dreams that every woman can easily relate to. She shares all of that in her answers for our rapid-fire questions.

Biggest splurge?

Travel and luxury bags. 

Money regrets?

Not grabbing the opportunity to invest at an early age.

Who or what inspires you to get up every day?

My kids will always be my everyday inspiration. They are my WHY, my reason for being.

When do you plan to retire?

Hopefully, I will retire when I’m 50,  when my kids finish university.

Goal for 2020?

I want to be the best in what I do, be the best country manager.

To cap it off, we end this interview with a piece of advice from our very own woman boss to women who aspires to be like her. 

Be the person you want to be. If you want to be a boss, be an athlete, be a mom (the boss in the house), be an artist, just go for it. Believe in yourself that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to. Be persistent and fearless.

Just take the leap and have faith.

Happy International Women’s Month!

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