Fatima Olaguer | Deputy HR Head | Robinsons Land

Fatima Olaguer on Guiding Careers and Nurturing Lives in the Workplace

Step into the journey of Fatima Olaguer, a seasoned HR leader at Robinsons Land. Discover how Fatima has revolutionized the HR function, prioritizing holistic employee well-being, and seamlessly blending career growth with personal fulfillment. Her empowering leadership nurtures and shapes future leaders at Robinsons Land.

Given your 20 years of experience with RLC, how would you compare the evolution of HR function then and now?  

The HR function has evolved from being transactional to being a valued business partner. HR has focused more attention to recruitment of talent as well as organizational development and the use of technology in various HR platforms in recent years. Employees now are getting comfortable in the use of HRIS on a self-service basis, such as our timekeeping and offboarding systems.  From a highly centralized set-up, we have organized service teams to support the various business units, reflecting the growth and diversification of RLC over the years.


Why is having a holistic approach on employee's well-being important? 

The future of work puts employees at the center. In the workplace, we recognize that the way employees interact and behave throughout their workday has a big impact on their well-being, work performance and productivity.  Through our DWell (Doors to Wellness) Program, we look into the employees’ total well-being physical, mental, social/emotional, and even the spiritual aspects of their lives.

Life is a balancing act of work, relationships, family, finances, hobbies and more.  We acknowledge that every person has multiple roles in both work and life, and that they are all connected. 

What does leadership mean to you and how do you nurture future leaders? 

Leadership is being able to inspire others, motivate, set a vision, communicate, respect others, and of course, lead by example. In RLC, we nurture future leaders through our various development programs, like the Future Leaders Program (FLP), designed for young, passionate employees who have strong potential for bigger managerial roles.  Our programs on immersion, coaching and mentoring, sharing of best practice, help shape the development of our future leaders.

If you could go back in time and change anything, what would it be in terms of your personal life and in your career? 

For someone who dreamt of being a doctor as a child, I think I am in a happy place right now in terms of my career and in my personal life. In college, I finished political science, so my plan was to be a lawyer thereafter. I went to law school. God clearly has other plans for me. That’s why I am now with HR. The similarity between being a doctor and being a lawyer and now being in HR requires you to be people centric. For me that’s where I find fulfillment the most. In terms of dealing with people, interacting with people and making a difference to people’s lives.  

On a personal note, now that I finally found and I realized how happy it is to have your own family, have a child. If I could turn back time, I would have probably done it sooner at an earlier age so I would have time to enjoy my kid. I am so grateful for what I have right now. For all the blessings I have received. I could not complain.  


If you could give advice to a woman who is just starting in her career, what would it be? 

For a young woman about to start her career, my advice would be to know what you want to achieve. It’s very important that you’re true to your core. You know yourself.  You know your passion. You know your triggers. And you know the limits of what you can and cannot do. That’s very important because others call it their life purpose or their North Star. Because when the going gets tough. This becomes your non-negotiable. When you have this already identified, you will not go wrong, you won’t be confused because you know where to put your balance in life.  

Another advice I could give to a young woman is to find a mentor. Be it a work, be it a personal relationship. Someone who can help you identify which are the right way or the wrong way. Or somebody who can champion you and help you achieve your goals. Somebody who can objectively give you advice. That’s very important. A mentor can be in the form of a friend at work who can put sanity in daily life. Another advice I could give is to continue to learn as much as you can. Learning never stops. Always fill your cup every time because you cannot pour from an empty cup. Always retool, always upskill, always keep yourself abreast.

The last thing I can give as an advice is to be open to change. A lot of doors can lead you to a lot of learning opportunities if only you have an open heart and an open mind to accept the things you can do and those that you can no longer change.  



Special thanks to our partners from Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc., Robinsons Hotels & Resorts, and RLC Residences for providing the ff: 

Fashion: Robinsons Department Store 
Hair & Make-up: Y.O.U. Beauty at Robinsons Department Store
Location: Westin Manila and The Residences at The Westin Manila 

Editorial and Creative Direction by: Pat Mendoza
Photographed by: Sela Gonzales
Styled by: Pat Mendoza and Sam Capulong
Interview and Write-up by: Rose Legaspi, Patricia Cardenas and Trina Mendiola
Layout and Graphics by: Sam Capulong