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Employees of the Department of Labor and Employment had a fun and rewarding discussion and a make-over session during its Seminar on Job Enrichment through the Power of Appearance, organized by the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) in cooperation with personality development firm, John Robert Powers.

The seminar, which is part of the Gender for Development Program of the ILS, gave job enrichment tips for both men and women to develop a more positive attitude at work and to reach their full potential in their careers.

“In today’s world, there are two basic must-haves to become successful in the workplace - substance, which pertains to intellectual capacity; and appearance, which is the way we present ourselves in public. In the government service we are presumed to have the first; yet in the same manner we are stereotyped for lacking the second - appearance. The challenge is for us in the government service to improve on the second, not only to look better at work, but to work better as well,” said ILS Executive Director Cynthia Cruz.

Cruz explained that when men speak, people tend to listen, as men exude confidence and power; on the other hand, when women speak, they are gazed upon, and must overcome prejudiced eyes before they can get people’s attention.

“If improving one’s appearance and personality can positively tilt the scale against discrimination, prejudices and biases, then by all means they should be improved,” Executive Director Cruz added.

Invited to speak in the seminar was Ms. Marisyll Ples Pengson, a communications consultant and a personality development instructor at John Robert Powers.

“Appearance plays a crucial role in ensuring that one will not be left behind in the competitive world of work. Human resource officers who screen and hire applicants do not just stop at an applicant’s college diploma, they also give attention to character and personality. The first 11 seconds after you enter the room to face recruitment personnel are crucial to make an impression that you deserve to be hired,” said Yvette Manale, John Robert Powers Corporate Sales Manager.

According to Manale, DOLE as the primary agency that facilitates employment generation needs to develop the power of appearance among its employeess. She said that this can only happen if the personnel of DOLE are empowered and have come to believe the benefits of improved appearance, personality, communication skills, protocol and etiquette.

Since its creation in 1987, the Institute has , been at the forefront on labor and employment issues such as gender and development. ILS researches on gender are available at

(For more information on this release please contact Mr. Zoren Amat, Senior Labor & Employment Officer of the Advocacy and Publication Division, Institute of Labor Studies, at 5273490/5273447)

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