Leading Women: Hannah Pangilinan on YouTube's gender disparity

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Hannah Pangilinan is set to talk at CNN Philippines’ Women’s Month event, “Leading Women to #PressforProgress,” on March 17, where she’ll be talking about her role as a female YouTube content creator and being a role model to young girls. Photo by JL JAVIER

Manila (CNN Philippines Life)  At 18 years old, Hannah Pangilinan already has a lot on her plate. She’s a student-athlete and a member of the National Honors society — a global organization that recognizes students who excel academically, hold leadership positions, participate in community service programs, and maintain good character throughout their stay in school.

On top of that, she has a YouTube channel with over 180,000 subscribers. Though she admits it isn’t always easy, she also says that young people like herself are often underestimated, even by themselves.

“I want to show people that it's not supposed to be something that's like, ‘Wow, [you’re so young and] you can do all of these things’,” she says when asked about being a role model to her young fanbase. “Because we can do all of these things. We can be multi-successful people if we just allow ourselves to be.”

On March 17, Pangilinan will be representing her generation, Gen Z, at CNN Philippines’ Women’s Month event, “Leading Women to #PressforProgress,” where she’ll be talking about her role as an influencer and role model to young girls, and as a female YouTube content creator.

Pangilinan is fully aware of the gender disparity on YouTube. The platform, which has launched numerous careers, is dominated by male content creators. Last year, only two women made it to a list of the 18 most subscribed independent YouTube channels.

“Being able to have the opportunity to talk about my side, or the side of women on YouTube, is such a big deal for me,” she says. “Because I'm able to represent women in a platform that is dominated by men.” 

But Pangilinan also knows that she’s part of the lucky ones, wherein she belongs to a generation where women have more opportunities to be seen and heard than past generations did, and that this is not something to be taken for granted.

“[Today,] it's so much easier to stand up together and unite together. And I guess I just want to encourage those who are listening that at this day and age, being united is really going to help us as women in the world.”

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Catch Hannah Pangilinan and other speakers such as Kristie Lu Stout, Iza Calzado, Lynn Pinugu, Dr. Gia Sison, and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo at CNN Philippines’ “Leading Women to #PressforProgress” event on Saturday, March 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the BDO Corporate Center, Makati.