Mark of a Woman

by | Mar 3, 2024 | Citizens of the Republic | 0 comments

Woman. An entity that embodies both beauty and strength. May it be as individuals or as a group, women have inspired others and contributed a lot to this world for years. And we can see this in the many stories of women making positive changes. An example, and one who has personally made an immense mark to me, is Malala Yousafzai. Back in 2012, at the age of 15, Malala survived an assassination attempt in Pakistan’s Swat Valley as she advocated for women and children’s right to education. The dedication and bravery she showcased led her to become the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

In the Philippines, we have a lot of these stories too. We have women from long ago who fought for positive changes – from the likes of Gabriela Silang (who led an Independence Movement) to Sister Mary John Mananzan (an activist who advocated for gender equality in the 70s). They believed that everyone deserves to be free and be given equal chances and opportunities. And in recent years, there are also women who inspired with their stories of breaking the mold and going against social injustices. Hidilyn Diaz, the Filipino Olympic gold medalist for weightlifting, did everything to achieve her goal of becoming a successful athlete in a sport that society deems “not quite right” for women. Another one who showed strength, courage, and goodness is Maria Ressa – a journalist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 as she fought tooth & nail for freedom of expression during the Duterte regime. With these notable contributions, we can see the reasons why women need to be celebrated, most especially this Women’s month – and that is to spread awareness about their struggles and feats that make the world a better place.

In Brand Republic (BR), we make no exception as we put the spotlight on a strong beautiful woman who has made (and is still making) a positive mark in the company. She is the mentor who has helped juniors achieve stability and direction. She is the person who goes above & beyond to help her friends in need. She is the woman behind a lot of people’s growth in Brand Republic. This month, we feature Lakki Mary Rose Gaddi or Lax for short.

First Impression

Just like men, women have different qualities that can range from being jolly to being fierce. And Lax – or Ate Lax to some – is no different. If you ask anyone in BR, their first impression of her would be strong, intimidating, scary, mataray, and may authority. This may be because, first and foremost, she always shows up in the room looking very put together. You would never find her wearing anything sloppy or going into a room with disheveled hair. She always looks polished, whether she is wearing something branded or clothes straight from Shopee. Also, she carries herself with the kind of confidence one exudes when one has already experienced a lot in life. When talking to her, you would feel she answers questions with certainty and yet, she is never shy to admit if she’s not knowledgeable about something. How she balances confidence and humility in different matters exponentially adds to her charm and credibility as a person. Lastly, true enough, she has already experienced a lot as a person and as an employee – and this is something we’ll discuss closely in a bit.

Woman

Making a Mark

Back in 2017, Lax entered BR because the company needed a competent person who could immediately go to Isabela to be part of a convenience store client’s outsourced marketing team (Yes, BR once offered marketing services). For months, Lax would go to Isabela every other week to cater to the client’s needs, particularly to provide monthly sales analysis to identify areas of growth. After some time, Lax found out that even with few SKUs, the client’s pastries sell the most among all their products. As such, she suggested that the client focus on selling these pastries instead of trying to manage hundreds of SKUs normally found in a convenience store. Luckily, the client listened and is now very successful – with almost 50 (and growing!) cake shop branches in North Luzon.

Fast forward to today, Lax is in her seventh year with Brand Republic. Within those years, Lax has dipped her toes into different career paths – from being a Jr. Account Manager to a Marketing Assistant, then a Business Development Manager, and now a Copy Writer & Team Leader.

Back in 2017, Lax entered BR because the company needed a competent person who could immediately go to Isabela to be part of a convenience store client’s outsourced marketing team (Yes, BR once offered marketing services). For months, Lax would go to Isabela every other week to cater to the client’s needs, particularly to provide monthly sales analysis to identify areas of growth. After some time, Lax found out that even with few SKUs, the client’s pastries sell the most among all their products. As such, she suggested that the client focus on selling these pastries instead of trying to manage hundreds of SKUs normally found in a convenience store. Luckily, the client listened and is now very successful – with almost 50 (and growing!) cake shop branches in North Luzon.

With everything she has experienced and become, Lax has acquired a multitude of skills that has helped her achieve success – and this is what she uses to further develop herself, her juniors, and other colleagues to make a lasting mark in the company.

Ate Lax

Today, as a Team Leader (TL), Lax is very hands-on with her juniors – from building their careers to reminding and spoiling them with personal care experiences. To give you an example, one would not master the basics of copywriting unless Lax returns your work repeatedly until you got the captions right. She’s strict and hands-on, but her way of doing things really helps you grow and learn. For personal care experiences, Lax uses her team budget for life-enriching and self-care activities. She makes sure her team gets to try restaurants that people early on in their careers would not normally eat at. Furthermore, she stresses the need for moments of self-love through hair and nail grooming sessions.

Aside from this, it is worth noting that people really like their Ate Lax for being “respectful” when giving constructive criticisms and when making “salo” a work slip-up. She would always use the right tonality to clearly explain what needs to be corrected. She would always focus on the matter at hand that needs to be resolved. She would never make you feel stupid and judged for making a mistake. As a matter of fact, she always uses an encouraging tone that would make you feel you have a chance to improve.

With all this, Lax really seems like a cool big sister. Basically, she knows how to handle and take care of people. When asked about this, she says helping people and making a positive mark on their lives gives her a sense of fulfillment. “Na-e-excite ako to see people grow. In a way, seeing others succeed — minsan even seeing na mas magaling na sila sa akin — makes me feel like I did something right.

Success Stories

At the beginning of this article, we mentioned how Lax is behind some of the successful and promising people in Brand Republic. To give you a glimpse of that, here are some notable testaments from her colleagues and juniors.

Senior Account Manager Marj mentioned that Lax is the person who taught him account management. He is truly grateful to her because for him, “I am where I am now thanks to Lax.” Today, they have become long-term friends. Initially, it was “a friendship that we did not expect to blossom beyond the parameters of work.” However, as can be seen now, their relationship continues to grow as they have become each other’s pillars in both career and life.

Another close friend & colleague is Strategic Planner Jepoy. He says Lax was the person who taught him the jump scared mindset. “True naman, when it feels scary to jump, that’s exactly when you jump. Kasi if not, you’ll just stay where you are buong buhay mo,” he mentioned. With this thinking, Jepoy has achieved much in Brand Republic. And, surprisingly, he still applies this whenever he feels anxious over the heavier responsibilities he’s being assigned with now.

As for her copy subordinates (Copy Cat babies), Patrick said that his Ate Lax helped him better present himself in terms of his clothes. He mentioned that he was not really the “fashionista” type of person and shared that, “Any combo ng T-shirt and maong, ok na kasi I do not really put energy to it haha. But then, she added to my PDP (Personal Development Plan – yes we each have one in BR) to wear better clothes kaya I was kinda pushed to do it. And that helped me kasi I feel a bit more confident, I guess? And I can project better na than before.”

Ken and Megan also have something to share. Ken learned from Lax how to be conscious about other people’s feelings. “You should learn how to deliver bad things empathetically because everyone has problems,” says Ken. For Megan, she sees Lax as a big sister in the office and looks up to her because “she’s patient when it comes to her juniors making mistakes.” Unsurprisingly, with Lax behind their initial careers, they are seen as part of the next generation superstars in Brand Republic. 

With all these good things that people mentioned about her, Lax has more plans to help the people in Brand Republic. Just this week, she launched her personality development project called High Brow Program, where she intends to help BR employees improve in terms of client/work etiquette, presentation of self, and brand knowledge.

A Woman’s Mark

For sure, we all have strong beautiful women like Lax in our lives that have made a lasting impact on us. We hope that this Women’s Month, their stories, struggles, and successes can also be told so that it can serve as a reminder of the goodness and power each woman holds. After all, narratives like these need to be constantly communicated until such a time that we don’t need to remind anyone of the saying “babae ka, hindi babae lang.”

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