For this segment of Women In Marketing we chat with Manila-born, Glaiza who currently resides in the UAE and is the Cluster Digital Marketing Manager for Majid Al Futtaim Accor Hotels. She almost enrolled for a degree in Accountancy but, thanks to the long registration queue, she opted to enrol at the Hotel & Restaurant Management faculty instead. Let’s find out how she was able to marry marketing with her hospitality experience.
LET’S GET PERSONAL
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR WOMEN IN MARKETING SERIES, GLAIZA. LET’S START ON A LIGHTER NOTE. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MEMORIES GROWING UP?
I was born in the densely populated city in Manila – Quezon City, in the Philippines.
I grew up in a big family of nine. Six brothers and two sisters. The memories of growing up are being surrounded by a large extended family, especially every Sunday, Christmas, New Year, and birthdays. Waking up on a Sunday hearing my father’s type of music, going to church, and eating out.
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN YOUR HIGH SCHOOL/COLLEGE YEARS?
I can say I am a shy student.
I stick to my group of friends. I’m a quiet person. People have the impression that I am a snob, but my friends will know that I’m crazy deep inside. I am into my studies. I take them very seriously because I think I had the pressure to perform well because of my siblings.
I am the youngest in the family, so the expectation is there. I am the type of girl who is always being voted in the class to be a “muse”, but most of the time I don’t show up when there’s a school event, because I am self-conscious and scared to be the centre of attention. No Show! 🙂
IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I would be an eagle because of its strength, dexterity and leadership qualities. It has a vision, possesses vitality, never gives up living. I pay close attention to everything around me, and I am patient when waiting for an opportunity.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL? THAT ONE MEAL YOU WOULD FEEL NO SHAME FOR NOT SHARING!
Pork hotdog, spam, and instant noodles 🙂 Yeah, I love junk food!
IMAGINE WAKING UP $10 MILLION RICHER TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FORTUNE?
I would donate to the victims of the super typhoons in the Philippines. The effects of these have resulted in an estimated 100 million pesos worth of damage. In light of the COVID 19 pandemic, I would contribute funds for research towards the vaccine. I would also love to help unfortunate children all over the world access good education and health.
On top of that, I would love to buy properties on a beautiful island like El Nido, Palawan, or somewhere in Europe, with my family and travel around the world twice.
WHAT IS THE ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN’T FIND ON YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE? ANY HIDDEN TALENTS PERHAPS? PREVIOUS WOMEN IN MARKETING CANDIDATE, DR. LIEZEL BYGATE SAID THAT SHE IS AN EXPERT HULA-HOOPER!
When I was nine years old, I took flute and piano lessons. I learned how to read notes, but I don’t play anymore due to my busy schedule and life, as we call it:)
I also used to dance from my younger years until my University days. I can also play the tambourine.
CAREER AND WORKPLACE
WHAT ENCOURAGED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN MARKETING? AFTER ALL, MOST OF US GREW UP WANTING TO BE DOCTORS, RIGHT?
I remember that I wanted to be a flight attendant when I was young because I dream of travelling the world. But then I never really thought of it seriously and then when I enrolled in the University, I was supposed to take up Accountancy (my mom wanted me to).
However, there was a long queue. I saw the Hotel & Restaurant Management section empty. I figured that I would go with it. After a year, I enjoyed it and thought that I wanted to pursue it. I had my first job at a hotel in Dubai as a Reservations Agent and an opportunity came up that I ended up in E-commerce, now Digital Marketing.
Currently, I am heading up the Marketing Department. I am expanding my horizons not just to Digital Marketing but to Marketing in general. 🙂
GIVE US A SNEAK PEEK OF HOW YOU TYPICALLY START YOUR DAY. ARE YOU #TEAMCOFFEE OR #TEAMTEA? OR BOTH? YOU BEAUTIFUL REBEL!
I have a very low caffeine tolerance. I am not a Coffee or Tea lover. I like the taste of it; but honestly, I am fine without it 🙂 As much as possible, I start my day by reading the Bible to give me a positive boost in spirit throughout my day.
I make up my bed and stretch. I try to create new habits so that I can improve my overall quality of life. I am adding Morning Yoga to my routines but still a lot of work to do there 🙂
HOW BEST DO YOU MAINTAIN A WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
I keep in touch with all my friends and family. I make sure to catch up, meet up on birthdays, and hang out.
Sometimes, we get so busy in life that all you want to do is sleep after work. However, life is short and time flies fast. You will not notice that you haven’t seen a friend for years. But I also enjoy my alone time. I love going to the beach, spa to pamper myself, and getting massages.
YOU OBTAINED YOUR MBA IN MARKETING FROM THE SWISS BUSINESS SCHOOL. YESSS GIRL! ACCORDING TO CNBC, RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY GLASSDOOR FOUND THAT COMPANIES LIKE APPLE, GOOGLE, AND IBM (AMONGST OTHERS) OFFER WORK-FROM-HOME JOBS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE ANY FORMAL EDUCATION. IN YOUR OPINION, HOW CAN YOUNG WOMEN UTILISE THE INTERNET TO UPSKILL THEIR CAREERS PARTICULARLY IF THEY ARE NOT ABLE TO AFFORD A FORMAL EDUCATION?
Now more than ever, the power of the internet has been utilised during these unprecedented times. It is easier to slack down but, it will take self-motivation to do something useful with the time we have in our hands. Due to digital transformation, companies and universities are offering free online courses, diplomas, and degrees.
Education is for everyone. The internet has levelled the playing field.
Some companies offer free certification, like Google, for example. Google Garage has a free certificate for the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing. A lot of my connections have taken the course. The feedback has been positive!
SABRA MWAURA WAS A FEATURE FOR OUR WOMEN IN MARKETING SERIES. SHE MADE A FEW GOOD POINTS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTORSHIP FOR WOMEN. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON MENTORSHIP?
I received mentorship when I started my career, up until now. I think it is critical to have the right mentor as you go along your career. For me, mentors don’t just serve as our guide or teacher, but they are also people that believe in and see potential in us that we didn’t even see in ourselves.
They give honest feedback which is essential for us to keep on improving.
WHAT’S YOUR SMARTEST WORK-RELATED SHORTCUT OR PRODUCTIVITY HACK?
I have learned a lot during this pandemic. One thing that stuck to me is the productivity I had from working from home. That is because I take regular breaks, so it gives me time to rest a bit when tired, and then go back to work again after 5-10 minutes.
Working in short bursts as some say that a human mind can only concentrate for 10-20 minutes long and then starts to lose focus after that.
JOB HOPPING IS A COMMON PHENOMENA ESPECIALLY IN THE DYNAMIC WORLD OF ADVERTISING AND MARKETING. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON JOB HOPPING? DOES IT HURT OR AID ONE’S CAREER?
I believe it has some pros and cons.
I think of these people as risk-takers, diverse and able to acquire a myriad of skills. However, the main factor that will stick is that they might do it again. Thus building trust and investing in them might be a question to ask. It can also reflect that they are unsure of their life goals.
In general, a little job hopping can be beneficial, but too much will hurt one’s career.
FOR IT’S 2019 MOST INFLUENTIAL CMO’S REPORT, FORBES LISTED 31 WOMEN OUT OF 50 CANDIDATES (19 MEN). IT APPEARS THAT MORE WOMEN OCCUPY CMO ROLES COMPARED TO OTHER C-SUITE ROLES. WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS THE CASE?
Reaching gender parity in our society continues to be a struggle. CMOs are becoming a more diverse crowd now, thankfully. A diverse team in the marketing division will equate to diversity in advertising output.
REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN IN MARKETING, PARTICULARLY, IN SENIOR ROLES IS ON THE UP. IN YOUR OWN OPINION, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT WOMEN STILL FACE DESPITE THESE CHANGES AND HOW BEST SHOULD THESE BE ADDRESSED?
The progress of gender equality is still slow, although improving.
Sexism, racism, and economic equality – these pretty much cover both domestic and international fronts. How should it be addressed? I think women who are in positions of power can help and raise voices. Nowadays, women are not afraid to raise concerns. It is happening, slowly. Slowly but surely.
Eventually, society will be ready for women to be on top 🙂
ONE OF THE LEARNING CURVES FOR MOST ORGANISATIONS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC, IS THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURES TO FACILITATE REMOTE WORK. FOR TECH PLAYERS IN SILICON VALLEY THE TRANSITION WAS RELATIVELY SMOOTH WITH THE LIKES OF FACEBOOK AND TWITTER DESIGNING A FUTURE WHERE THEIR STAFF MAY POTENTIALLY WORK REMOTELY FOREVER. THE ARGUMENT THOUGH, IS THAT THIS IS LONG OVERDUE. IN YOUR OPINION, WHY HAVE COMPANIES TAKEN SO LONG TO IMPLEMENT REMOTE WORK OPPORTUNITIES?
Allowing employees to work remotely is a huge change, especially if the company has an existing office.
It is not that easy to get away from something we were used to doing for decades. There are also trust issues, productivity, lack of control. Covid-19 forced us to look deeper into how employees can work outside of the office due to the outbreak and safety measures throughout the world.
It does seem like this will continue. Companies were able to adjust and look for ways to balance working from home and office time.
WORKING FROM HOME IS AWESOME! MOST OF US CAN AGREE. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT WITHOUT IT’S SET OF CHALLENGES. EMPLOYEE WELLNESS HAS TAKEN A SIGNIFICANT STRAIN WITH PEOPLE WORKING LONGER HOURS AS A RESULT OF EMPLOYEES BEING ‘ALWAYS ON’ AND NOT BEING ABLE TO SWITCH OFF. HOW CAN EMPLOYERS GUARD AGAINST EMPLOYEE BURNOUT OR IN THE WORST EVENT, LOSING THEIR BEST TALENT?
One of the most important things I learned about working from home is to have a routine – having a set time to wake-up and sleeping time is very important. Stick to the working hours as well, with short breaks in between to keep the attention.
There will be times where you will need to work extra hours in the night, but regularly, turn off the laptop, silence email notifications on your smartphone and have some well-earned downtime.
BCG PUBLISHED ITS INNOVATION REPORT FOR 2020 AND AT THE CORE OF ITS SELECTION CRITERIA ARE COMPANIES THAT HAVE SUCCESSFULLY MARRIED ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN THEIR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. ACCORDING TO YOU, WHAT MAKES SOMETHING INNOVATIVE?
An idea or product is innovative if it makes the customers’ lives easier and stands out from the rest. These tackle problems from a different perspective.
HEMAL THAKKAR, BRAND MANAGER FOR BURGER KING INDIA IS A RECENT WOMEN IN MARKETING FEATURE. ONE OF THE KEY AREAS SHE IDENTIFIED FOR CONTINUED GROWTH IS THAT OF INFLUENCER MARKETING. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF MARKETING LOOK LIKE ACCORDING TO YOU?
It is with us already but will continue to evolve. It is the most effective tool that we can use to get to know our consumers better and to be able to reach them according to their needs.
The 4Ps will be almost obsolete. There will be the 4Es: Engagement, Experience, Exclusivity, and Emotion 🙂
2020 AND BEYOND
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Develop healthy eating and exercise habits early on 🙂 Take those naps your mom always forces you to take!
WHAT CHALLENGE IS ON YOUR PLATE? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PAIN POINTS YOU ARE TRYING TO OVERCOME IN YOUR LIFE WHETHER PROFESSIONALLY, PERSONALLY OR BOTH?
Currently, I am in a transition period in my career. The pain I’m feeling is because I am growing, but it is not something that I’m sure I cannot handle. I am a very positive individual and, I always try to look on the brighter side of things, of course after some sessions of tears 🙂 Then stand up again and fight.
ANY BUCKET LIST ITEMS?
I still have a travel bucket list. Hopefully, we can go back to travelling again. Buy a new house and lot, and migrate 🙂
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR SHEROES?
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
I am currently reading ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell (to be honest, it’s been months and I haven’t finished until now).
I prefer to read an actual book, but most of the ones I have are in soft copy because of ease of access. If I could, I’d buy books highly recommended by my mentors, mostly about leadership and mental health.
WHAT WOULD YOU COME BACK AS IN THE NEXT LIFETIME CAREER-WISE? DO YOU THINK YOU MISSED A CALLING?
I love what I do. I would do the same thing, but at a more advanced and faster pace.
WHAT IS ON YOUR NETFLIX WATCHLIST?
Unsolved Mysteries, Night Stalker, Guide to Meditation, Surviving Death, Lupin, The Midnight Sky, The Minimalist
WHO HAVEN’T YOU SEEN OR TALKED TO IN A LONG TIME AND HOPE THEY ARE DOING OKAY?
I have close friends who used to work in Dubai, but now left and went back home. We are still in touch through social media, commenting here and there, but not actual chat. I hope everyone is doing okay in these difficult times.
WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR AMAZING WOMEN IN MARKETING TO PROFILE. WHO WOULD YOU LIKE US TO GET IN TOUCH WITH?
One of the people that I worked alongside. She managed to impart some wisdom to me: Harriett Type.
A UNIQUE MESSAGE FOR ALL YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN THE MARKETING INDUSTRY
Enjoy every moment. Take every opportunity to learn. And also, to respect other people and choose your battles. These are some of the lessons I have learned. I want younger Marketing professionals to keep these in mind.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME GLAIZA. WE HOPE THIS INTERVIEW WILL INSPIRE FUTURE LEADERS AND OTHER WOMEN IN MARKETING. HOW CAN PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU AND YOUR COMPANY ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
I am very honoured and thank you for getting in touch with me.
My profile is my name:
@glaizarap on Instagram.
LinkedIn company page: is https://www.linkedin.com/company/pullmannovotelibisdubai