When Art Becomes Life

In celebration of IWD, we would like to share some special elements that represent what it means to be a woman, and a mother, at IBM. One of the things present in certain IBM sites are Mother Wellness Rooms. In this blog, Stephanie Galera, a Senior HR Talent and Engagement partner in IBM Philippines shares the story of a signage chosen to represent these rooms.

 By Stephanie R Galera

In IBM, we take care of our own. And by that, I mean that employees will always have a venue and a voice to be able to make changes ranging from big and significant to mundane, but impactful. Whether these changes be about the process, the policy, or about menial things, we’re encouraged to speak up and let our thoughts be known. As long as it makes sense, people will listen and of course, take our ideas and recommendations into consideration.

A year ago, we launched a campaign to look for the perfect signage for our Mother Wellness Rooms. I can see you scratching your heads. What is a Mother Wellness Room—is it a room where mothers relax after being awake 24 hours a day taking care of their children on top of balancing work, life, and love? And why do we need signages for it? Let me, for a brief moment, enlighten you. To make things short and sweet, a Mother Wellness Room is a space for IBM mothers to express and store their breastmilk during working hours so that when they get home, they have enough milk for their babies. Why do we need a signage for it? While we have the sign “Mother Wellness Room” pasted across it; it can, most often than not, be misconstrued as a free room for everyone to use for whichever purpose. And thus, the campaign begins.

There were seven contenders and, after much deliberation (and of course employee votes), a champion emerged. The winning entry not only won because of votes, but it had quite the history behind it: “This artwork symbolizes the greatest love of all which is the love of a mother to her child. A mother would do anything just to give the best to her child like breastmilk/breastfeeding even if it’s challenging especially for working moms.”


While the artwork had so much meaning, what added to its impact was that it was painted by one of our IBM moms, Ma. Eugenia (Genie) Alli, and her daughter. The Mother Wellness signage is now posted on 12 sites across IBM Philippines. Congratulations, Genie, and thank you for a wonderful symbol of love and motherhood!’

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