Women in today’s generation are allowed to define what it means to be a woman. There are many limitations and barriers which have thankfully been broken down, allowing women to venture paths that were once not open to them, and encourage other women to bravely do the same. This is how our featured Branch Manager describes a modern woman. Now in the spotlight is an empowered woman that takes the roles of being a career-oriented individual and a mom at the same time, no other than Ms. Jocelyn Ann Buendia.

Joan’s ultimate idol is her mother, like most of us. Her values are based on what her mother told her, especially when growing up, and up until now that she is a mom too, she still applies those values in building her own family. “Without a doubt, my mother is my role model. She is intelligent, dedicated, and passionate. She applies these traits in everything she does at work, during play (hobbies), but most especially at home. Her strength is both physical and emotional. From the moment we learned to speak, walk and understand, she has always been there for my sister and me. She showed and taught us how to be better ladies as we grew up, and this upbringing molded us into strong women: God-fearing, respectful, principled but loving and compassionate towards others. My mother is truly inspiring and admirable, and I try to be just like her every day,” she shared.

As mentioned, Joan also plays the role of a career woman. She has been with Eternal Gardens for many years, serving in different capacities. Currently, she handles our Balagtas, Batangas City Branch. She admits that it is a tough and challenging task to be a branch manager, especially since she is supervising one of the flagship projects of Eternal Gardens. “Being in charge of the EG Balagtas Branch is both challenging and rewarding. Managing one of our company’s major branches is sometimes stressful and tiring, but it is also inspiring and invigorating at the same time. There are days that can be nerve-racking and draining. But, I am honored to be part of the EG Balagtas family, and I am humbled to be called the leader of this great team. I find myself eager to always prove my worth and to be a better addition to the team,” she said.

On the most difficult part of her job, Joan cited the importance of being true to yourself and weighing things out, particularly in managing a diverse team. “People who are close to me know that I am a very open, unfiltered, outspoken person. In this fast-paced job, dealing with a large and diverse team, there can be times when it gets difficult for me not to blurt out what I think or feel in the heat of the moment. However, I try to find better ways to properly assess a situation and deliver a well-thought observation, solution, or suggestion,” she said.

Aside from being busy serving the organization, Joan also nurtures her family as a mom to two beautiful daughters. “To say it plainly and simply, I need and want to be both. I create compartments that allow me to have a balanced life. Sometimes lines get blurred, but knowing and accepting my priorities allow me to focus on the task at hand. Yes, it can be tough, but it can be done”, she shared. Indeed, balancing time between being a mom and a career woman is not an easy feat. But for sure, a lot of women today can relate to what Joan has shared.

Joan also shared her stand on the gender-role biased matters primarily that people are used to seeing men lead or manage a team, the role that she has now as a Branch Manager. “Gender should never be an issue when performing any kind of role, not in this day and age. What makes it one are the people involved. When dealing with closed-minded people, I usually get emotional; but through past experiences, I have learned that keeping calm and not jumping into assumptions is the key to a better work environment. I have been told that controlling my emotions and being level-headed would help me make better decisions towards expected great results,” she said.

To all the ladies out there, take these pieces of advice from Joan: “I cannot think of any better advice but the same one I would give to my daughters. One of my daughters has come of age and has her own voice and opinion. I would want her to focus on her strengths and make opportunities to be better. I would want her to be mindful of her weaknesses and accept them as part of herself, and use them in a positive manner, one that can potentially benefit her and the people around her. It may already be cliché and ordinary, but I would tell young ladies to be the best version of themselves every day.”

Seeing how far and different women of today are, unlike in the past, women now share similar opportunities with men. And it is a beautiful thing that happens in our world today. “While I will not go as far as to say that there are things women can do better than men, I am happy that we now see many women succeed in their chosen fields. It makes me proud to be one of those women who shine and stand out,” she finished.