SorSU HRMO & GAD hold training on Enhancing Gender-Sensitive Customer Service to all non-teaching personnel

As part of the commitment to develop the efficiency and competency of the employees in responding to the changes and challenges in providing services, the Human Resource Management and the Gender and Development organized a training on Enhancing Gender-Sensitive Customer Service to all non-teaching personnel on March 18-21, 2024 at the Audio-Visual Hall, Sorsogon City Campus.

The event commenced with an opening remark from Mr. Gerald E. Fulay, the Vice President for Administration & Finance. In his message, he commended the initiative of the dynamic and passionate people of the Gender and Development through the direction of SUC President III, Dr. Geraldine De Jesus and the supportive officials of the institution who consistently aspire to provide proper and quality service that is acceptable in the present normal of the society. He further said, gender sensitivity in the workplace is not just a mandate but must be embraced as a way of life.

Meanwhile, SUC President III, Dr. Geraldine F. De Jesus remarked, “As we celebrate the National Women’s Month, we highlight the inclusion of gender awareness, sensitivity and equality to the services we offer and deliver to our clients. As the premier higher education institution in our province, we recognize, value and respect all forms of diversity among our employees, institutional partners, community stakeholders and particularly our students. Since we have always aspired to be in the forefront of our province’s development, this means that we have to consider and adopt positive changes in our institution to improve service delivery and to foster mutually beneficial relations with our clients. As a people-centered, service-oriented institution, the highest priority is always to serve others in the best way we can.”

The training featured an insightful and profound talks from keynote speakers, Dr. Noel R. Rafer, Director of the Bicol University Center for Gender and Development and Dr. Marylendra A. Penetrante, Founder/Executive Director of Children & Youth Wellness, Technical & Advocacy Center (CYWTAC).

Dr. Rafer discussed “How to be Sensitive: Gender Sensitivity Training and the Basics of SOGIESC (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sex Characteristics).” He/she also elucidated the “Safe Spaces Act (R.A. 11313) and Gender Fair Language” and talked through gender mainstreaming, gender roles and stereotypes. To spice up the training, Dr. Rafer conducted a trivia quiz about sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics. The importance of inclusivity and gender equality were also underscored. Pursuant to this, it was also pointed out that the basic rule of gender sensitivity training is refraining from making assumptions about the person’s gender and preference.

Dr. Penetrante on the other hand focused on the topic, “Going Above and Beyond: Delivering Exceptional Customer Service.” Her valuable inputs equipped the participants with effective strategies on how to deliver exceptional customer service. She also imparted essential communication skills that can boost customer engagement and satisfaction. Moreover, she emphasized that frontline service employees should put premium importance on excellent service because it’s the organization’s strongest marketing strategy. Exceeding customer expectations should be a priority because happy customers become brand ambassadors of the organization. Key takeaways from her lecture were: Adopt an attitude of Gratitude and Choose to feel awesome every day.

Mrs. Zosima M. Olayta (Retired HRMO) shared insights on Professionalism and Etiquette while Atty. Mary Joy Bongapat (Legal Officer) discussed Grievance Machinery. Dr. Leny D. Berdin, the Chief Administrative Officer, concluded the training by encouraging everyone to continue learning, continue growing and continue succeeding.

Aligned with the advocacies of GAD and the HRMO in helping promote gender sensitivity, the said event achieved its aim of sensitizing the participants to the goals of gender equality and capacitating the employees to be more gender responsive.

The said initiative showed the commitment and the dynamic efforts of the HRMO under the leadership of Prof. Abner L. Dellosa, RGC (Head, HRMDO) and GAD under the oversight of Ms. Riche Duran, to fostering an environment that values individuality, diversity and equality. The training, spanning four days was attended by 174 employees. (SorSU PIO)