NEW YORK – The Philippine Consulate and the Philippine Mission in New York honored three distinguished Filipinas in celebration of the International Women’s Day Tuesday.
“We once again honor this time, three more women who achieved notable success in their respective fields in mainstream USA,” said Philippine Consul General Mario de Leon.
Stella Abrera is the first ever Filipino American principal dancer of the classical American Ballet Theatre based in New York.
Born in the Philippines, Abrera came to the US when she was 4.
She began her career at the ABT as a member of the corps de ballet in 1996. She was appointed soloist in 2001 and was promoted as principal dancer in August last year.
“It warms my heart when I see young Filipina dancers on my social media,” said Abrera. “They tell me I’m inspiring them. That’s very heart warming, a responsibility that I’m quite happy to take on.”
For turning the Filipino value of caring to a successful online marketplace, Care.com founder and CEO Sheila Lirio-Marcelo was recognized as one of the most successful Filipina entrepreneurs in the US.
From child care to pet care, the Philippine-born businesswoman and techie made it easy for families to find quality care solutions through her website Care.com.
The $59 million website now has more than 17.8 million members in 16 countries.
“Be so incredibly proud to be Filipina,” said Lirio-Marcelo. “Everything from the values from where we come from and how we respect women. It’s got the narrowest gender gap of all Asian countries. Be proud of the environment, the culture.”
For being an advocate for employee’s rights in the workplace as commissioner and chair of the New York City Human Rights Commission, Carmelyn Malalis is making Filipinos in the Big Apple proud.
Mayor Bill De Blasio appointed Malalis Human Rights Commission Chair in 2014.
Malalis leads the agency in investigating complaints of discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
“This year for me has really been about transforming this agency into an agency that, for the most vulnerable New Yorkers especially, is kind of a gateway to resources,” said Malalis.
For breaking glass ceilings in their fields of works, these Filipinas serve not only as role models for their success but they are all a great source of inspiration for many.