Women and the Strategies

Women and the Strategies to Achieve Peak Position

The role of women in the workplace in Indonesia is quite dominant. Evidently, the number of women working in an office is significant. 65% of the total 135 million women of reproductive age (25-45 years) in Indonesia are currently living as a career woman (BPS data 2010). This is also reflected from the choice of work by Femina magazine reader’s community, where 80% of them are career women. 74% of them are in the age of 25-39 years.

Why is working in an office a favorite choice? The 2010 Femina survey questionnaire results show the fact that this choice is the benefit of higher education they have achieved and is an investment for the future. Working, also becomes part of self-actualization and a way to get good income for themselves and families.

Have these career women in this era achieved the desired equality at workplace? How about the opportunity to a top position? Are they satisfied with the current workplace dynamic? A global study conducted by Accenture (a global company for management consulting, technology services and outsourcing) at the end of 2010 shows an interesting fact: 63% of women were dissatisfied with their current career paths. And women are less ambitious to reach higher career positions.

Some obstacles are, among others, lack of career development opportunities compared to men, in terms of training and career advancement, and also the classical issue of maintaining the balance between career and family. The survey was conducted towards 3400 business executives from medium to large organizations in 29 countries (an average of 100 respondents per country).

How difficult to break through the career “ceiling glass” is an issue that does not come only from the women themselves. Fear of success and lack of mentor guidance are interesting issues for discussion. If more and more women become leaders in the workplace, it is expected that Indonesia can be more advanced.

In response to the need to develop this great community, Femina magazine in cooperation with BII created a program called BII in Women’s Life & FEMINA which will take place throughout the year 2011, and is specifically designed for self-development of career women in Indonesia. “This program aims to provide new, inspirational, and applicable insights, to the life of working women both in the office and in their personal life,” said Petty S. Fatimah, Chief Editor of Femina magazine. Included in the program this year are the Career Women Competition, career women’s achievement award, and appointment of a role model for career women community in Indonesia.

This seminar was presented by career and HR consultant, June Kuntari, who shared knowledge about the challenges facing Indonesian women in treading today’s career. Meanwhile, Rene Suhardono, a career coach, discussed about the need for intrapreneurship soul, as one of the competencies that need to be owned by workers in reaching the peak of their career.

Five female executives with impressive career track records, even in abroad, shared experiences about their career. They were Thila Nadason (Chief Financial Officer of BII), Evelina Setiawan (Senior Marketing & Communications Manager of Grand Indonesia), Astrid Sri Hayati (Director of Public Advice of CSR Indonesia), and Dini Ubaya (Strategic Media Planning Director of Mindshare). As the opening speaker, Karen Agustiawan, President & CEO of PT Pertamina (Persero), the first Indonesian woman who achieves the top position in a state-owned enterprise, shared her strategies to reach the number one position in that most strategic state-owned company in Indonesia.

2011 Career Seminar is expected to encourage career women in Indonesia to track the right career and the tips to achieve the highest position.

How many women have actually reached the top position? And what are their tips to reach the highest position? Here are their explanations:

  1. Pick your battle. Options should be considered carefully
  2. Giving up is not a choice
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously! Let it flow but prepare the unexpected things
  4. Always has a mentor
  5. Friends are investment
  6. Luck, opportunities with matured preparations
  7. Women should be independent – and dare to try new things and experience the ups and downs
  8. The best man for a job is actually a woman!


The five successful women agreed that in times of economic crisis many incredible things can become opportunities.

A leader will be very visible when trouble comes and it was experienced by Karen Agustiawan, where three days before the seminar she had to tackle three oil tanks owned by Pertamina that were on fire. Being among men controlling the red giant was an unbelievable experience. Her leadership was shown at that time that women are no longer a male rival, but a male colleague. So, confidence does matter, not gender! That’s the conclusion of the career seminar and in fact our future is a matter of how we survive in the future.


Femina. First published in 1972, the first women’s magazine Femina is in Indonesia. As a lifestyle weekly magazine, Femina provides actual and reliable information every week about all the lives of active and modern Indonesian women. Being a guide, and a practical and friendly source of inspiration, Femina represents today’s Indonesian women with global perspective but still have the Indonesian character.

BII. One of the largest banks in Indonesia with an international network. A series of programs that aim to establish a solid career women community through a series of activities related to the world of careers and women. This program includes a seminar in Jakarta (April 9, 2011), Workshops in 5 cities: Medan (May 2011), Palembang (June 2011), Semarang (July 2011), Yogyakarta (September 2011), and Surabaya (November 2011).