Moms and Dads

In Good Company: Grace Vera Cruz on the Pursuit of Career and Motherhood

From leading Grab Philippines to being a “boy mom,” Grace Vera Cruz steers a path to navigating career opportunities for Filipinos and providing support for supermoms

Grace Vera Cruz

Perhaps you’ve had the splitting thought of choosing between a career and motherhood. But when you do things with love and purpose, not just for yourself but for those who matter, things fall into place, and you realize that indeed, you can have it all.

“I am a staunch advocate for working while being a mom because I think wearing these two hats enriches my perspective, strengthens my character, and bolsters my ability to effectively handle both responsibilities.” says Grace Vera Cruz, Country Head of Grab Philippines. “I think working with people or even just working to fulfill my dreams makes me a better person because I feel whole and with better control of my life.” 

An empowering vision

Grace Vera Cruz started her career journey at a young age. Before joining Grab Philippines, she was the Managing Director of Seawood Resources, a Philippine-based investment company with a global footprint, and has held key positions in McKinsey & Co., CLSA Exchange Capital, and Shell Philippines. 

Grace eventually settled down, and a few years later, just as she took on the role of Country Head at Grab, motherhood came knocking on her door. 

Being at the helm of the leading ride-hailing and on-demand deliveries platform  in the country and being a mom to two very active and inquisitive boys, Theo and Kenji, one has to wonder — how does she do it? 

In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Grace fondly recalls attending work meetings online with her newborn son, Kenji, in her arms. As a new mother to her six-month-old and a newly appointed leader of a company, Grace remained steadfast to her north star — transform the lives of thousands of Filipino families for the better by offering viable livelihood opportunities and a suite of safe and reliable services.

“It’s our mission to do good. So, we provide livelihood to merchants, riders, and drivers. At the same time, we help consumers, many of whom are parents, to get to their destination [like schools], order meals, and many more safely and conveniently,” Grace explains. 

Moreover, the Country Head’s influence extends beyond her role in this male-dominated industry. As a woman and a mom, Grace intimately understands the challenges of balancing these roles. By fostering quality opportunities for all, Grab Philippines has become a more equitable and inclusive workplace where everyone can thrive. 

Leading with grace

Under Grace’s leadership, Grab launched the Women Program to increase the number of female drivers within the network. This program features new safety-promoting technologies, training programs and various community activities to empower women driver-partners. Grace believes that bolstering inclusivity among Grab’s network of drivers, riders, and even within the Grab workplace, deepens the company’s understanding of how to enrich the experience for Filipina women, particularly mothers, on the superapp.

Aside from providing job opportunities, Grace says, “We have to be reliable in providing excellent services so they [moms] can fulfill their roles at home and the office.” Grab has always been the parents’ companion in their journey to parenthood because “the mission is really about putting people first, and how we do things always goes back to our 4Hs: honor, humility, hunger, and heart.”

Grace adds, “Grab is a superapp — which means that our responsibilities transcend beyond mobility and spans across food, financial services, as well as enterprise solutions. Maintaining Grab’s position at the forefront presents a unique set of challenges. What truly keeps me up at night isn’t just the competitive aspect — it’s the profound responsibility to ensure that we truly enhance the lives of millions of Filipinos. Whether it’s improving the safety of our rides, the efficiency of our deliveries, the earnings and success of our partners, or the reliability of our platform, every decision we make has a direct and far-reaching impact on our country.”

As a leader, Grace’s approach is deeply rooted in creating a vision from within the core of the company’s operations. This vision is shaped by the rich insights from the Grab Philippines team — who are on the ground and understand the nuances of our market — and the direct feedback from consumers, whose lives Grab aims to simplify and improve every day. It’s a dynamic interplay of internal creativity and external input that guides Grab’s strategic direction under Grace’s leadership.

Furthermore, Grace consciously draws on industry best practices, but not without carefully adapting them to the unique context of the Philippines. For the chief of the Philippines’ superapp, it’s about striking a balance between innovation and local applicability, ensuring that the strategies they deploy not only keep Grab competitive but also resonate deeply with  local users and address their specific needs.

This blend of introspection, team collaboration, and customer-centric innovation forms the bedrock of strategic planning at Grab. It ensures that while Grab strives for operational excellence and market leadership, it remains steadfast in its commitment to making a tangible difference in the everyday lives of the Filipino people.

We can have it all

A lot rests on Grace’s shoulders, but that doesn’t stop her from being present in her kids’ lives. “Life and work balance is all about giving 100 percent, not 50 percent each, to your work and kids or family,” she says. “Having kids makes you more empathetic because it allows you to be present, to listen a little bit more and be more accepting of everyone’s differences. It helps with decision-making in the long run.” 

Grace shares, “My ambition goes beyond maintaining our status as a leader in all the industries and sectors that we are in. I envision Grab becoming a holistic platform that significantly enhances the fabric of Filipino life — whether affluent or not, residing in city centers or in rural areas, through diverse and meaningful services, innovations, and offerings.”

“Our expansion into deliveries and financial services is about identifying and filling gaps that hold back individual and community progress. For instance, by improving logistics, we can help small businesses get their products to customers more efficiently and affordably, boosting local economies. With our financial services, we aim to bring unbanked Filipinos into the financial system, giving them access to tools that can change their lives — like the ability to save securely, access credit, and insure against uncertainties,” adds Vera Cruz.

It takes a village

But what excites her the most is the potential to make Grab a platform for greater inclusivity. “I want to ensure that our services reach not just the urban centers but also the underserved rural areas. Our goal is to democratize access to technology and services, making it possible for a farmer in a remote area to sell his produce directly to consumers in the city, or for a small-town entrepreneur to expand her market nationwide,” Grace remarks.

In envisioning the future of Grab, Grace is guided by a belief in ‘tech for good’ — leveraging technology to solve real problems and improve lives. “As I steer Grab forward, I see us as more than a company; I see us as a community partner that helps build a more connected and empowered Philippines where everyone — most especially moms and parents, regardless of their starting point, has the opportunity to thrive and win at life and their parenting journeys. That is the legacy I am passionate about building — a legacy where Grab stands as a beacon of innovation, inclusion, and empowerment for one and all,” Grace adds.

Grace is proof that with the proper support system and reliable companions, moms can achieve a thriving professional career, while raising a happy and healthy family.


Photography KIERAN PUNAY of KLIQ, Inc.




Shoot Coordination ANTHONY MENDOZA



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Download the Grab app now on Apple Store or Google Play to get everything you need. You can also visit Grab Philippines’ website, Facebook, and Instagram.

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