Shell PH Launches #BabaeKasi Campaign to Address Stigma on Female Drivers

Carmudi PH

Taking part in the worldwide observance of International Women’s Day (IWD) in March, Pilipinas Shell expressed support for Filipinas who brave the roads every day. Jumpstarting the campaign with the Women Drive the Future! bootcamp, Shell brought together various women leaders and role models in a show of solidarity with other women who experience gender prejudice.

Professional race car driver Michele Bumgarner admitted that in the motoring world, men are still favored. “I just let my driving do the talking,” she says. “I always say–just keep working hard and believe that you are just as capable as anybody else in reaching for your goals,” the Pinay racer who dreams of becoming the first Filipino to finish the Indy 500 also added.

Held at Blackbird at the Nielson Tower in Makati City, the panel featured Baby Barangay members Kelly Misa-Fernandez, Patty Laurel-Filart, and Bianca Santiago-Reynoso. They were also joined by Rowie Abracero, Directress of the Girls Racers Club–the first all-female car enthusiast club in the Philippines.

Abracero noted how women drivers are often stereotyped as weaker. “From experience, I find that women just tend to be more cautious, and this is not a bad thing.”

Participants of the boot camp were also treated to a hands-on demonstration of A-1 Driving School, where they had a refresher on tire changing, dealing with a dead battery, and performing a lubricant check.

“Driving is a complex life skill. It entails a lot of multi-tasking, which we know women to be good at. For anyone to be proficient at it, we also need to educate ourselves,” said Luna Garcia, A-1 Driving School Business Development Head.

For Shell, the Manila bootcamp is only the beginning, and will be rolled out to different regions nationwide. “We are very positive that through these efforts, we will be able to create a platform to help women take control of their future and gain confidence on the road and beyond,” said Vanessa Ejercito, Shell FuelSave Brand Manager.

She also noted how Shell has been actively serving the interests of female customers even prior to the campaign. “We are partners with SM, the country’s biggest retailer, to reward our loyal female shoppers with exciting shopping opportunities every time they gas up. Shell stations are also designed to provide a convenient, refreshing retail experience–from putting up well-appointed comfort rooms to offering a wide range of healthy products at Shell Select and deli2go.”

To celebrate the many meaningful journeys that they embark on every day, Shell has also recently released an online video featuring female drivers. With currently over 2 million views, the material has successfully sparked conversation about gender stereotypes and has encouraged both men and women to vocalize their encouragement for women who drive.

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