Women’s existence in the business world is no longer debatable. The presence of female figures in company management has become more common in the past decade which has provoked male’s viewpoint and has proven to be able to improve company performance.

Women in the business world certainly have their own strategies to balance their professional responsibility and family thus they can have the best of both worlds.

On Kartini Day, Grant Thornton presented data related to Indonesian women who are involved in the business world based on Grant Thornton's Annual Women in Business 2019 Report that provides an overview and perspective of women in the business world from around the world.

Based on a survey conducted in 37 countries, Indonesia is in second place after India for countries recorded with the least senior management position with no women in it. The survey noted that only 2% of companies in Indonesia have men control all management position, while the remaining have at least one woman holding a strategic position in the company's leadership.

This result appears to be supported by Indonesian companies' various strategies increasing the number of women's positions in their senior management within recent years. The Women in Business 2019 Report records three strategies that most companies do in Indonesia to improve and maintain gender balance which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Providing a mentoring or training program
  2. Allowing flexibility at work
  3. Ensuring equal access between men and women regarding employment opportunities

Regarding women's most held position in senior management, CFO (Chief Financial Officer) turns out to be the most common position as the report recorded 50.4% of companies have women as the highest position holders in their finance.

The position is followed by Human Resources Director with 26% and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) with 18.9% for the highest position led by "srikandi" in the company's organizational structure.

Johanna Gani, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Indonesia said, "Women in Indonesia will continue to make a real contribution to the companies where they work. Various positions in companies' senior management indicate the role of women in various fields is getting more significant affecting companies to have better performance."


Champions for Action

This year, Grant Thornton also introduced the "Champions for Action" program, a global initiation to give appreciation to those who bring fresh air to the gender equality movement, especially the professional world in their respective countries. Grant Thornton Indonesia chose the technology theme for the "Champions for Action" figures this time and appointed Aulia Halimatussadiah and Generation Girl as those who represented the Indonesian "Srikandi" to bring a positive impact on Indonesia's digital world.

Aulia Halimatussadiah, a woman who is familiarly called LLIA, has been working in the Indonesian digital startup world for quite some time. She currently holds the position of Co-Founder and CMO at Storial.co and NulisBuku.com which both bring their own colour to the world of writing and publication. LLIA has also written more than 30 books.

"In my opinion, women are in direct contact with everyday life's problem, hence it is important for women to understand how technology can solve those problems. I hope that in the future, Indonesian women will have a greater curiosity to engage in the tech world and increase the number of women's participation in technology from less than 20% to on par with men," LLIA explained.

Grant Thornton Indonesia also recognizes the positive role of Generation Girl, a non-profit organization that aims to introduce women to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) through exciting vacation club facilities. Generation Girl is founded by several professionals who are involved in technology startups including Nadine Siregar and Mila Alfitri who also currently have an extraordinary career at GO-JEK.

"Being a good leader needs more than a technical skill. In Generation Girl, we use STEM to teach young women the critical thinking and soft skills they'll need to become the future leaders in all fields. By introducing young women to the current female pioneers, we'd like to show them that they can achieve their dreams and become the future role models, even in areas dominated by men," Nadine said.

Mila also added, "Young women in Indonesia have become more attracted to the STEM field, they only need more role models thus it can attract more women. Generation Girl aspires to introduce women in STEM field role models to motivate and boost their confidence that women can excel in this field too, which is generally occupied by men, especially in the field of technology. The potential is there and it is proven by how quick girls can learn and code a website on 5 days during 2018 Winter Club. "

"In the future Grant Thornton will continue to support Indonesian women to explore their potential as well as to inspire other women to have a broad impact, not only for the business but also for their families and environments," concluded Johanna Gani.