The government is also starting to engage with #GirlsTakeOver this year.


The companies appreciate government programs that are beginning to support the importance of gender equality. This was stated by Rey Sihotang, The Head of CEO Office and Vice President Corporate Secretary of Digiserve (previously Telkomtelstra), at the panel discussion "Investor Relations: The Real Value of Gender Equality" hosted by IBCWE and ILO (10/27).

He said that he greatly appreciated the government supporting gender equality that has been implemented through various programs. One of the proposed is the #GirlsTakeOver program which is a cooperation between Plan Indonesia, Srikandi BUMN and the Ministry of State Owned Enterprises.

"The government is also starting to engage with #GirlsTakeOver this year, so it can be seen that more companies are aware of the importance of gender diversity and inclusion in their companies," he said.

To that end, he continued, Digiserve saw the trend of gender equality begin to squirm in recent years. "I see a lot more progress in awareness than I did 5 to 10 years ago. And I think in this post-pandemic era, where a lot of companies are focused on job flexibility, it's going to attract women to get back into the workforce and start their careers again."

Siti Sufintri Rahayu, Vice President Corporate Affairs of Bukalapak stated, more companies understand the benefits of gender equality applied within the company. Bukalapak, she added, strongly believes that gender equality is essential and should be a part of ourselves.

"The most important thing is that we can embed that culture into the soul of company and business, so that when people see them, they can be inspired."


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Even so, there are still many challenges faced by the companies that seek to implement gender equality. Digiserve for example, which is still constrained by the talent pool in the stem field (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), which is as much as 20 percent in Indonesia and 30 percent globally. Moreover, women's positions at the executive level are also limited.

"But we have made progress. From the beginning of 2016 we started the issue of gender equality. Of the 16 percent of women in technology and leadership, now 25 percent. We have a long way to go to reach our target of 30 to 35 percent for women in leadership and technology positions."

In addition to companies and governments, investors have voiced concerns about sustainability for decades. Most investment leaders describe steps a company can take to integrate sustainability issues into their investment criteria, including gender equality.

In research by Professor Zhang, 1,069 leading companies in 35 countries and 24 industries found that gender diversity relates to more productive companies, as measured by market value and revenue, only in contexts where gender diversity is viewed as "normative." By this normative acceptance means a broad cultural belief that gender diversity is important.

Gender diversity can also signal to investors that companies are well manage. Sociological research on market valuations shows that investors appreciate when companies use generally accepted "best practices," such as gender diversity in hiring.

Siti Sufintri Rahayu, commonly called Fifin also admitted that potential investors will ask what programs related to sustainable development goals (SDGs) in a company. "As we know women's empowerment is also a focus in the SDGs, of course it becomes a strong element to lure investors. In addition, it is also a value that will improve the corporate branding of a company. Currently talent, public stakeholders will give appreciation to companies that have equality programs. In the future, Bukalapak will stand with its belief that male and female has the same qualities," she said.

Digiserve also said the same thing, inclusiveness and gender diversity has more value and benefits for business. One indicator of a company's performance is employee engagement and satisfaction surveys.

"How we increase the level of employee satisfaction and stays in Digiserve is through programs that focus on gender diversity and inclusion. We also have some policies related to recruitment, where there must be female candidates. And we're also have a work flexibility policy, it's very important, in 2017 we've had implementation before the pandemic. So, this is very important to levelled the playing field, between women and men is more flexible, it's a value for our productivity."


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