“I do not think I would be in the position I am today had it not been for the mistakes I have made.”
When Cris Albert was a teenager, she remembers that she wanted to be a doctor, a newscaster, and a lawyer.
“I am someone who wants to be in public service just like my great grandfather. I like to love, to share and give back,” she says.
Watching her grandmother and mother work while also care for the family had a huge impact on her, and today, the current president and CEO of Fila Philippines believe that managing a healthy work and family balance is paramount to success in both the personal and the private life.
As an entrepreneur, Albert shares that there were times that her gender has felt like a limitation, especially when she was working with international partners. “I have sometimes been seen more as a socialite rather than a pure-blooded operator,” she says. “It is crucial that regardless of what happens you must handle yourself with grace and confidence.”
In her experience, Albert shares that while she has made mistakes, she does not regret anything.
“With every mistake, there was another lesson. It was a tough process, but it was a process that inevitably made me stronger and wiser. I do not think I would be in the position I am today had it not been for the mistakes I have made,” she says.
Some sacrifices had to be made and, after spending the majority of her twenties and thirties working, Albert thinks it was all worth it. “I can do things I never thought I would and have goals that I once thought were completely impossible,” she says, adding that the knowledge gained along the way helped prepare her for tough situations like the current pandemic.
When she was younger, Albert says that she found it difficult balancing work and family. As the ambassador of Fila Philippines, she had to go to events, dinner meetings, and parties quite regularly.
In the last year, she made a concerted effort to spend time at home with her family. “With the pandemic, I can work from home, but it has been difficult to not always focus on work. I am thankful for the empathy and support of my children,” she says.
Young women nowadays have a breadth of information and advice on how to succeed in the
workplace, but for Albert, the best to keep in mind is to always handle yourself with grace.
“There will always be stubborn people or groups you cannot reason with; you cannot let them discourage you,” she says, “Always stay true to yourself and prove them wrong in your humblest way. The truth always comes out in time.”
For Albert, it is a fallacy to believe the ideal that women must have it all.
For her, sharing areas of responsibility with her husband as much as she can is something she wants. “I feel like as we keep moving forward, there will continue to be more women in the workplace, but family and home is where our heart is. So as a reminder ‘keep that balance,’” the executive says.
Despite being a seasoned woman in business, Albert says she only learned how to say no five years ago.
“Saying no to people or things that do not support your growth is something any woman should learn early on in life because are already a little bit disadvantaged,” she says.
Women must maintain focus because the focus is crucial to finding success on any career path. “You need to know what you want for yourself,” she says, “and only be spending time doing things and working with people that help you realize that vision of yourself so you may help others.”
This story originally came out in the October 2020 issue of Lifestyle Asia.
Banner Photo by JERICK SANCHEZ