Ahead of International Women’s Day, which is commemorated on 8th March each year, Pulse Lab Jakarta has kicked off a digital campaign called #OneWordOfAdvice to celebrate the achievements of women in innovation and highlight their journeys and lessons they’ve learnt along the way. This year’s theme ‘Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change’ puts emphasis on innovation by women and girls — for women and girls — and is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal number 5 on gender equality. The campaign was particularly inspired by stories from some of the amazing women who are a part of the team at our data innovation Lab. Taking an inward look to inspire other women working in innovation in Indonesia and across the world, we led the campaign with advices from four of our very own.
Below are the stories of four women with diverse training and personal experiences, all of whom are now working in the innovation space for social impact at Pulse Lab Jakarta.
Melly, Urban and Regional Dynamics Lead
“I have been invited to speak about digital technology such as smart city solutions at multiple events in Indonesia and abroad. Many a time, I was the only woman among panellists presenting. I know that it can be lonely, but together with other women in STEM, we can make a difference. My advice for girls who want to study STEM is: Be courageous. Recognise that studying STEM is a privilege we must use to inspire future generations of girls.”
Annissa, Data Engineer
“When I was studying for my computer science degree, I was one of fifteen women in a class of forty. In the beginning, I was not passionate about the subject and lacked a sense of direction. It wasn’t until I met my female professors who changed my perception about women working in computer science with their creative and analytical thinking. Be persistent. I realise now that my determination to keep studying computer science unleashed my potential to do the unthinkable, which was unimaginable a few years ago. It doesn’t matter where you come from or where you studied, it is up to us to be the driver, not the passenger of our future.”
Visi, Interaction Designer
“When I started my career in a small advertising agency, I was not aware that the title ‘interaction designer’ even existed. Later in life, I saved enough money to self fund my studies in the UK and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in UX design. My decision to pursue a career in design was often judged to be one with an unstable future. However, I believed in myself and my creative skills are currently being employed to innovate human interaction designs. There is still a rigid perception about pursuing design in Indonesia, but it’s up to the upcoming batch of young women to change our understanding of design. Believe in yourself. Believe that your choice is the best choice for you.”
Kiana, Communication Assistant
“I believe that change does not happen by remaining still. I’ve always been a dreamer and I have known from the start that to dream big is to be daring. I worked hard in my last semester of university to finish my thesis focused on urban and regional planning, all while volunteering and facilitating digital literacy training sessions, freelancing as a translator, as well as leading a public relations team. Be curious — I was willing to venture into the unknown and learned from the different perspectives and experiences through humility.”
Throughout the month of March, we’ll be following popular hashtags related to women and innovation and will follow up with a blog that discusses some of the stats and trends we identified in our analysis. The idea is that the comments and anecdotes from the campaign will contribute to a digital mural that women and girls can revisit by searching for the #OneWordOfAdvice hashtag. In essence, the campaign may end, but the stories live on — here’s an open invitation to share yours to inspire women around the world. Read what other women had to say here.
Pulse Lab Jakarta is grateful for the generous support from the Government of Australia.