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Indonesian power women in tech industry: Great career prospects await

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, March 9, 2017  /  05:07 pm
Indonesian power women in tech industry: Great career prospects await

Commemorating International Women's Day on March 8, four women from Information Technology (IT) industries in Indonesia have shared their opinions about women's current roles in the industries. (Shutterstock/File)

March 8 marks the celebration of International Women's Day around the world, and the rise of women power in the tech industry in Indonesia is a positive sign of how women can build a solid career in the country. The Jakarta Post spoke to four women in the Indonesian tech industry who shared their points of view about Indonesian women's prospects in the tech industry. 

Megawaty Khie – Vice President and Managing Director of SAP Indonesia

Megawaty Khie, vice president and managing director of SAP Indonesia.(SAP/File)

With 18 years of experience in the telecommunications and Information Technology industry under her belt, Megawaty Khie, vice president and managing director of enterprise application software company SAP is one of the most recognized names in her field.

She admitted that Information Technology is still a predominantly male industry, however, she encourages employers to be more open-minded in the recruitment process. “As employers, we should be open-minded and able to recruit (women) and provide opportunities,” she told the Post.

“For instance, in SAP there’s a goal where 40 percent of the employees have to be women. On the management side, we’ve targeted to have 25 percent female employees.”

For Megawaty, educational background is not the only crucial matter for women who want to be part of the industry. “I didn’t major in engineering, I have a bachelor's degree in marketing and hold a master's of business administration (MBA) degree,” she explained. “So it’s more about the willingness to keep learning because technology has many developments. There’s always something new.”

Megawaty hopes women will use the existing chance to enter the IT world as technology has become the catalyst for all aspects of life, ranging from social-economics, companies and country, to daily activities, namely shopping, communication, transportation and education.

Roolin Njotosetiadi – Director of Products, PT Kudo Teknologi Indonesia

Roolin Njotosetiadi, vice president of Products of KUDO. (KUDO/File)

Roolin Njotosetiadi, director of products at Jakarta-based e-commerce startup PT. Kudo Teknologi Indonesia (Kudo) is convinced that women can actually perform better than men within the tech field.

“Most women are still in more ‘traditional’ roles in marketing, human resources and so on. I believe that in the future there will be more women in more tech-related roles, such as developers and data analysts,” she explained.

She is optimistic that there are many opportunities in the industry for women to make an impact. “In a few years, you are expected to be one of the leaders in the field,” she then advised. “So learn as much as you can, be bold for change and enjoy the ride.”

Roolin sees the International Women's day as a reminder that women can achieve higher. “A lot of women are limited in pursuing their careers or pursuing opportunities due to lack of self-belief. The company I work at strongly empowers women of all ages to be able to succeed independently,” she said.

She also added that Kudo's 300,000 agents, ranging from housewives to university students, have tried to be digital entrepreneurs. “I hope they can inspire not only me but others as well to be braver and more assertive in achieving their goals."

Read also: Women: The backbone to peace

Priscila ‘Cipluk’ Carlita – Communications Manager, Twitter Indonesia

Priscila ‘Cipluk’ Carlita, communications manager of Twitter Indonesia.(Cipluk Carlita/File)

Having started her career path in the tech world in 2011, Priscila “Cipluk” Carlita kicked off 2017 as the communications manager of Twitter Indonesia and the Philippines where she oversees communications or Public Relations (PR) for the social media giant’s activities in both countries.

“[At the time when I started] technology was still referred to as the men’s 'world'. I worked as a PR in an international hardware company and many doubted my ability because they perceived women as not knowing too much about technology,” she told the Post.

“Several years passed and I now see many women jump into this world. A lot of them has proven that they’re able to position themselves as professional workers whom also deserve to be respected – not based on their gender, but based on their achievements.”

Cipluk also explained that it is no longer appropriate to contemplate which gender fits into a certain industry and which one does not, especially because information and technology have become easier to access.

“I have female friends who work in automotive, hardware, software, social media and e-commerce industries. All of them have succeeded in each of field,” she said. “It proves that Indonesian women can work in industries that were previously perceived as men’s industries.”

Those who want to follow their predecessors in the tech industry may not need to be shy or tiresome to learn from other people, including from male colleagues. “Many women feel that asking questions means they don’t know anything, but they forget that if we don’t ask, we will get lost,” she said, adding that reading following the current developments about industries will make women equal interlocutors for both genders.

“I see International Women’s Day as a symbol and real form of women’s awakening […] to defend and fight for their rights as individuals and professional workers,” she said. Cipluk also added that women can start their daily lives as role models for the next generations to come, therefore they will be individuals who respect equality.

Devy Pranowo – Head of Product Manager Digital of Tokopedia

Devy Pranowo, head of Tokopedia's product manager digital.(Tokopedia/File)

Having worked at Tokopedia for three years, Devy Pranowo currently holds the position of head of product manager digital in the online marketplace. Echoing similar sentiments from her fellow women in tech, Devy sees many Indonesian women are already making their ways into the tech industry.

“Basically, the profession is ‘genderless’, [meaning that] everyone can be whatever they want as long as they have willingness and ability. The most important thing is how they live their choice and are beneficial to others,” she said.

Devy also offers her advice to women who want to join the tech industry, saying that courage to begin, determination to always keep going and to keep on having a dream are the most important things.

“Do what you love, do everything with a full heart without any pressures from other people because happiness is determined by yourself,” she said, adding that women should not forget to share the happiness with others. (asw)