Breaking through barriers with #IamRemarkable - Chris’ story
“In the Philippines, some people would say that to be seen as a qualified success you'd have to be born with pedigree and/or privilege. I had neither, so advocating for myself and celebrating my wins, no matter how small, became my secret weapons,” explains Chris Eugenio. “Being an Asian LGBTQIA+ man from humble beginnings, I've had to break through many barriers—including my own limiting beliefs.” Throughout his career, Chris has faced obstacles which have challenged his self-belief, but taking part in an #IamRemarkable workshop helped Chris amplify his voice. Now known as a leader, mentor and positive enabler in the corporate and advocacy sectors, Chris is determined to help others find theirs.
Early in his career, Chris understood the need to speak up, show up and stand out—and to do so consistently despite the challenges each work situation presented. After being promoted to his first managerial role in Manila, Chris had to interact closely with global colleagues who were new to working with an offshore team. “We didn’t know how to work well together and I ended up accommodating their needs most of the time. I also struggled to get my message across in meetings, wasting hours overthinking and second-guessing myself.”
#IAmRemarkable shifted my perspective on my career and gave me a sense of purpose.
Chris often found he was the only LGBTQIA+ person and representative from Manila in this environment too, adding an additional sense of responsibility. “I’d joke with my manager that I was the perfect diversity hire. But the reality was that I felt an immense pressure to not only represent, but also be continuously excellent.”
Even as he advanced up the ranks, the pressure to constantly prove his worth remained. Chris would take on additional responsibilities and push himself harder, but was still overlooked when opportunities arose – prompting him to distrust his own abilities. When Chris took part in an #IAmRemarkable workshop, it proved to be a turning point and helped to silence his inner doubts. “#IAmRemarkable validated what I’d always believed: you have to take charge of your own narrative. You can look at your journey and find so many things to be proud of. #IAmRemarkable shifted my perspective on my career and gave me a sense of purpose.”
Chris Eugenio, Operations Strategist and Empowerment Champion, Philippines
If you did the work, if you showed up and delivered results, then you shouldn't shy away from talking about it.
Recognising the value #IAmRemarkable brought in celebrating his own achievements, Chris immediately signed up to be a facilitator to bring the message to others. “The key message that it’s not bragging if it’s based on facts resonated with me. If you did the work, if you showed up and delivered results, then you shouldn't shy away from talking about it. As a coach and mentor, I often hear people say, ‘Oh, I’ll just keep silent and let my work speak for itself.’ But when you exclude yourself from the conversation, you’re also relinquishing the attention, rewards and recognition your efforts deserve,” he explains.
As a certified facilitator, Chris is determined to bring #IamRemarkable across all levels of the organisations he partners with. He believes it’s important for executives to experience the workshop so they can be better allies and champions in the workplace. “When I run sessions with staff, I want to be able to say, ‘Look, I’ve done this with your leaders, and they share the same concerns as you.’ It’s encouraging and equalising.”
Chris Eugenio facilitating an #IAmRemarkable workshop
Don’t be afraid to use what is unique to you. Being LGBTQIA+ is your superpower and you should be proud of it.
Chris hopes to promote the message of self-advocacy through #IamRemarkable to as many people as possible. He’s hosted workshops on a smaller scale for niche groups where he feels the impact can be just as great, including new graduates looking for their first jobs and seasoned professionals needing to find their footing after being displaced during this pandemic. His ultimate goal: bring #IamRemarkable to communities. “I’d love to give a workshop in Filipino,” says Chris. “I want everyone to benefit from it the same way I did, no matter their background.”
Currently, Chris is currently on a mid-career sabbatical, dividing his time between consultancy work and volunteer opportunities. Outside of the corporate world, he’s committed to sharing his experiences with marginalised groups, including the wider LGBTQIA+ community and those trying to make their mark in their fields. “There is a direct correlation between your ability to self-advocate and taking up space as your most authentic self,” says Chris. “Don’t be afraid to use what is unique to you. Being LGBTQIA+ is your superpower and you should be proud of it”