Role Models Will Push Women to Enter STEM

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics or STEM is a type of industry that is currently growing rapidly. But in the reality, there is a high gap for the number of women workers, including the presence of female leaders, in the management board of the STEM-based companies. To increase women's participation in the STEM industries, a number of steps are needed such as the emergence of female leaders in STEM-based companies to become role models who will encourage more women to enter the field.

Women's gaps in the STEM field in Indonesia are already visible since from education field. The Global Review of Gender Report 2017 from the World Economic Forum in the Indonesian section shows that the graduates of the Information and Communication Technology major are 13.1 percent male and female 6.7 percent. While the Department of Manufacturing, Engineering and Construction, women fill 6.4 percent and men 12.5 percent. According to the UNESCO study (2015), the low number of female workers in the STEM field cannot be separated from the general perception that work in this field is considered inappropriate for women.

Not only in the STEM field, the level of participation in the workforce in general has shown a gap. Data per February 2017 from the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) shows that there are 131.55 million workers available in the domestic labor market. By sex, women's participation rate was 55%, while men reached 83.1%. In the formal sector, only 37.4% of female workers are in this sector, compared with male workers with 62.6%. The UNESCO Institute of Statistics notes that only 30% of women work in the STEM field. Closing the gender gap has a potential of a fairly high economic value. The MacKinsey Global Institute study estimates that public, private, and social sector efforts to close gender equality in 2025 have additional potential 12 trillion dollars of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

To address the challenges of women in Indonesia in STEM industry companies and to know the form of policy for STEM-based companies to be more able to attract and retain the female workforce, Indonesia Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (IBCWE) and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) held a discussion titled "Promoting Women's Leadership in STEM Industries ". Discussion presents the Construction Director of PT MRT Jakarta Indonesia Sylvia Halim, Country Director of Facebook Indonesia Sri Widowati, CEO of Bubu Kreasi Perdana Shinta Dhanuwardoyo who share their experience starting from the career journey to reach key positions in the corporate governing board. Managing Director of Resources Industry Accenture Indonesia, Fuad Said Lalean delivered the results of Accenture Indonesia's study on technology roles in women's career path in Indonesia, and Vice Chairman of Telematics, Research and Telematic KADIN Ilham Habibie presents his view of open opportunities for women in the STEM field.

The President of IBCWE Shinta Widjaja Kamdani delivered STEM relation and women empowerment on her opening remarks. "Women are unexplored potentials in the STEM industries, and with the many women in this industry we will look at the solutions to the potential creation of women workers," said Shinta who is also CEO of Sintesa Group with two subsidiaries in the natural gas field. Deputy for Coordinating the Protection of Women and Children Ministry of Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture (Kemenko PMK) Sujatmiko reminded the strategic role of women and children for Indonesia by occupying 49.8% of the total population. "Can we enjoy demographic bonus, depending on whether we can protect women and children," Sujatmiko said.

Shinta Dhanuwardoyo of Bubu Kreasi Perdana claimed to have plunged in the technology field for her personal interest since 1996. Her experience shows that the importance of the role model to encourage more women to plunge in the world of STEM, especially technology, in the future front. In line with Shinta, Country Director of Facebook Indonesia Sri Widowati said that the perception of the STEM field is not the field of women will strengthen because of the absence (figure) example. "We should be able to prove this a myth," said Sri. Meanwhile, PT MRT Jakarta Indonesia Construction Director Sylvia Halim shares her experience on how a company's performance appraisal policy is crucial to her career in Singapore. "There is one point in my career that I should be promoting, I know I've been doing well. But there is another engineer whose performance is good, but because his tenure is longer and because he is a male engineer then he got promoted. I know for sure if like this, I have to work extra (harder), "said Sylvi who claimed to vote decided to return to Indonesia for the Mass Rapid Transportati