APRICOT 2023: Diversity and Inclusivity in Tech

9 Mar 2023 6:05 PM

Ms. Jelina Tetangco and the rest of the panel in APRICOT 2023’s Diversity & Inclusivity in Tech session

APRICOT 2023 organized a panel session on Diversity & Inclusivity in Tech last March 1, in time for the start of National Women’s Month in the Philippines. The goal of the session was to learn about the trends and current diversity and inclusion issues experienced in the network operations sector across the Asia-Pacific region.

Ms. Jelina Tetangco, Senior Science Research Specialist and leader of various teams in DOST-ASTI, joined the panel as a representative of the Institute and the Philippines.

As an introduction to her experience, Ms. Tetangco shared how workforce balance in DOST-ASTI has changed since she started 19 years ago, “Now, in DOST-ASTI, there are lots of projects and teams that are led by women. The teams are also becoming more diverse. Before, women only comprised about 20% of the teams. Now, it’s almost a balanced team.”

According to DOST-ASTI’s latest sex-disaggregated data, female staff now make up 57.48% of the workforce, showing significant growth in the Institute’s female population compared to previous years.

(from left) Mia Perez, Lourdes Jay Araujo, Jelina Tetangco, and Lisa Garcia before the start of the Diversity & Inclusivity in Tech session. © Photo: APNIC Foundation

Ms. Tetangco also discussed the determination from DOST-ASTI and the DOST system in bringing about this change in the workplace, “Organizationally, there was a more conscious effort. When we call for a job posting, there already is an equal opportunity clause. We encourage more applications from diverse individuals for a more inclusive workforce. It’s going to be a long, hard road, but the important thing is that we started.”

#SpotlightOnWomenHPC by DOST-ASTI’s COARE Project

To support this goal of highlighting contribution of women in science and technology fields, Ms. Tetangco mentioned how her team in the Computing and Archiving Research Environment (COARE) Project started the Women in PH HPC initiative.

“The goal of the initiative is to build the community. We're starting by highlighting our partners and users who are women. If we have a community working on the same goal, working on a shared mission, that’s where we start. Eventually, when we build this community locally, the vision is to have this community gather and work together on common issues for women.”


Ms. Tetangco was joined by gender-diverse panel representatives from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam. The session was organized by Ms. Maria “Mia” Theresa Perez as part of her work for the Switch! Project of the APNIC Foundation and session concept in collaboration with Mr. Vincent “Achie” Atienza, chair of the Philippine Network Operators Group (PhNOG).