Log in to access resources reserved for MDRT members.
  • Learn
  • >
  • Women and Wealth: Empowering women toward financial independence
Women and Wealth: Empowering women toward financial independence  [Jennelaine Dingalan]
Women and Wealth: Empowering women toward financial independence  [Jennelaine Dingalan]

Mar 22 2024

Women and Wealth: Empowering women toward financial independence

Jennelaine Dingalan shares how she empowers women through financial education.

Topics covered

Jennelaine Dingalan, a one-year MDRT member from Jala-jala, Rizal, Philippines, has advocated for women’s economic empowerment since she was a student leader in college. She pursued a career in the development sector, serving as a program coordinator in a regional business advisory council and becoming the youngest executive committee member of a non-governmental organization that aims to alleviate poverty in the Philippines through entrepreneurial endeavors. She has also consulted for other women’s NGOs. 

Studies show that women's empowerment is imperative for economic diversification and sustainable and inclusive growth. While the Philippines has been considered one of the most gender-equal countries in Asia, ranking 16th out of 146 countries in the 2023 Global Gender Gap Index, the gender wage gap continues to be a problem in the country. According to the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), women earn 18.4% less than men in digital jobs in 2022. 

Dingalan’s journey as an advocate for women's economic empowerment is deeply intertwined with her upbringing. At age 3, she watched her mother embark on a journey as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), driven by the belief that it was the sole path to a brighter future for their family. Left behind with her 1-year-old sister under the care of their father, Dingalan experienced firsthand the sacrifices and challenges endured by families separated by economic necessity. 

Her story resonates with millions of Filipino families, as highlighted by the 2022 Philippine Statistics Authority Survey, revealing that six out of 10 OFWs are women. This statistic sheds light on the harsh reality faced by many Filipino women who, like Dingalan's mother, feel compelled to seek opportunities abroad due to the limited entrepreneurial and employment prospects at home. 

Eventually, they became a broken family, inspiring Dingalan to dedicate her life's mission to empowering women and their families. “I believe that greener pastures can be pursued without families being separated,” she says. 

Through proper financial planning and promoting entrepreneurial opportunities, Dingalan envisions a Philippines where every Filipino family can thrive, anchored by sustainable development and economic stability. When Dingalan opened her mother’s eyes to the fact that insurance is a tool to prolong her legacy, she viewed it positively and eventually signed up for a plan. “As a women empowerment advocate, I consider having enlightened my mom and protecting her with an insurance plan a big win for me.” 

Dingalan was inspired to pursue entrepreneurship to encourage women. “In my previous stint as a consultant, we highlighted women empowerment in the corporate social responsibility programs of several businesses in the Philippines, which gave me joy and a sense of purpose that convinced me to become an entrepreneur myself.” Dingalan recently co-founded a clothing brand that champions Philippine cultural weaves and supports the local livelihood of women. 

Dingalan saw financial advising as an opportunity to expand her advocacy. “70% of my clients are women. Most of them need help to get started in insurance, and that’s where I come in.” 

Women’s different stories and challenges strongly drive Dingalan’s career in financial advising. One of her contacts in her previous advocacy work became her client and mentor as she firmly believed in insurance. The client has more than 10 policies, including life and health insurance and investment plans. “Our relationship transcends work and is founded on our shared advocacy of empowering women. She would get policies from me when I started despite having existing ones already.” 

The security guard in her apartment building, in her 50s, approached her and expressed interest in insurance to protect her family but was concerned about her limited income. “We secured her with a life and health protection policy for only 800 pesos per month (about US$14.30).” She helped her neighbor, a store owner, who wanted to get insurance for the education fund of her two-year-old son for only 1,500 pesos per month (about US$26.79). “They were surprised as they believed insurance to be expensive. I assisted them in customizing policies aligned with their budget and goals. Meeting women from diverse backgrounds and narratives inspires me to empower more women to become financially independent with insurance’s help. My deep relationship with my clients is a testament to the trust and bond we have developed through our interactions and my ability to produce results for them.” 

Dingalan offers the following advice for MDRT members who want to empower women to become financially independent:  

  • Let them tell their story. Since you know their background, you can offer them a customized policy that caters to their needs, means, and concerns, whether they are a mom, a career woman, or a business owner. It’s a superpower to be seen, heard, and understood. 
  • Support their businesses. Be their customer. Buy their products, avail of their services, or visit their stores. If your clients want to start their own business, be there to guide and educate them about insurance and their business venture. 
  • Share your story. Tell your financial success and independence story to inspire and connect with your clients, which will build a sense of personal connection and trust with them.  
  • Invite them to your advocacy. Share helpful resources and seminars they can attend. In Dingalan’s case, she invites them to free workshops for women entrepreneurs tackling topics such as trade or exports, which deepens their connection beyond a client-advisor relationship. 

Contact: MDRTeditorial@teamlewis.com