Sunday, September 26, 2021

Empowering Filipinas

WHAT does it mean to be a Filipina woman in today’s world? For Christine Amour-Levar, it means helping people see the limitless possibilities ahead and empowering them in a positive, action-oriented way.

Since 2012, Amour-Levar has been deeply involved with a non-profit organization she co-founded which advances the position of women around the world including raising awareness and support for women survivors of war and for women who have been subjected to violence and abuse.

A proud Filipina based in Singapore, Amour-Levar is also a member of the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN) and a new awardee of the organization’s 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World Award. The award is reserved for exceptional Filipinas who are influencing the face of leadership in the global workplace and are recognized for their leadership, achievement and contributions to society, “femtorship” and legacy. This year, FWN’s 13th Filipina Leadership Global Summit will be held on Aug. 21 to 24 at Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa.

Over the past years, Amour-Levar has been presented with countless opportunities to lead, across four continents, whether in business, marketing or social work. And she seized them all with zeal and dedication.

Banking on her education at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan where she earned her BA in International Business and Economics and a minor in Japanese language, Amour-Levar made her foray into the corporate world as a young account executive for McCann Erickson Advertising Agency in Tokyo. Shortly after, her language skills (she speaks six) and her passion for sports led her to the doors of Nike where she did more marketing work for the brand in the United States, Latin America and Europe.

She also worked for Philippe Starck in Paris after earning her degree from the New York School of Interior Design before moving to Singapore in 2005 to join Nike once again.

Her extensive experience in retail honed her knack for spotting trends. She eventually launched Singapore’s first and only Brazilian multi-brand fashion boutique, Beijaflor, and in 2010 successfully sold her retail business.

“I put 200 percent of myself in any project I decide to focus on and spend my energy developing,” Amour-Levar describes of her career journey. “I always try to go the extra mile.”

Amour-Levar currently heads the Marketing and Communications at Temasek Trust and Temasek Management Services, two wholly-owned subsidiaries of Temasek Holdings—a global investment firm headquartered in Singapore which manages a net portfolio of $180 billion. Outside of Temasek, she works for iRace Group, one of Asia’s leading horse racing media and publishing companies, as its group chief marketing officer.

Amour-Levar considers herself fortunate to be involved with things that she loves doing. But closest to her heart is the advocacy work she does for Women On A Mission (Woam), a non-profit organization she co-founded which leads challenging, self-funded expeditions to remote locations around the world as a means to raise awareness and funds for humanitarian causes.

She leads yearly expeditions and fundraising initiatives aimed at raising support for women survivors of war and for women who have been subjected to violence and abuse. This includes organizing inspirational events and leadership development workshops, spearheading communications campaigns to increase awareness and rally support for women’s rights as well as leading challenging missions to some of the world’s remotest locations.

“I feel extremely fortunate to have found a way to bring together my passion for trekking, sports and adventure with my desire to support the less fortunate and empower women via Woam,” says Amour-Levar, who is also the author behind the motivational guide, The Smart Girl’s Handbook to Being Mummylicious.

“Woam has enriched my life in countless ways. This experience has ignited talents I didn’t even know I had. I believe that everyone has a distinct mission inside him or her, one that has the capacity to inspire. Setting up Woam has allowed me to find my ‘blue flame,’ that intersection where passion and ability come together,” she adds.

Over the last three and half years, Woam has raised over $600,000 to support organizations that advance the position of women around the world.

One of the challenges successful women like Amour-Levar face every day is that of pursuing personal and professional commitments with equal dedication. Amour-Levar believes that it is never about having it all but rather about having more options and feeling comfortable with the choices one makes at the different stages of one’s life.

“We all have the right to develop our potential, at our own pace, and when it suits us. What’s important is supporting each other. I feel passionately that women need to empower each other more, so that we have the courage to define success on our own terms. I believe each person’s uniqueness is her power, and I remind my children about this often,” shares Amour-Levar.

Clearly an epitome of the global Filipina leader, Amour-Levar says that having strong values, dedication, grit and heart are the qualities that will make a Filipina woman stand out and become a successful leader.

“I’ve learned that it is vital to try to lead a life that matters, a life that empowers and uplifts others with kindness and true generosity of spirit. This is what will give us the greatest satisfaction in life. To me, to love what you do and feel that somehow it matters, that you are making a difference, that’s where it all begins. We are indeed all so privileged, and because of this we should be driven by a great sense of responsibility and a desire to give back.”
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