The number of women in leadership positions is increasing, but based on the Women in the Workplace study by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org, women are still underrepresented at every level in the corporate pipeline, with the disparity greatest at senior levels of leadership. But getting to those leadership positions isn’t the only challenge; according to the United Nation’s annual report on the progress of the world’s women from 2015 to 2016, globally, women earn on average 24 per cent less than men, with variation across regions.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2015 was particularly sobering. 142 economies were ranked according to how well they are leveraging their female talent pool, based on economic, educational, health-based and political indicators. None have achieved gender parity.
Despite stubborn inequalities that remain, many corporations are beginning to lead the way in helping make the gender parity vision a reality. As the world celebrated International Women’s Day on the 8th of March – the United Nations with a call for gender equality by 2030, Google Doodle with an aspirational #OneDayIWill campaign – GE had a women empowerment session of its own with a Leadership Sharing Session in Jakarta, powered by GE Women’s Network. This network was created to accelerate the advancement of women in the workplace by sharing information, best practices and experiences.
Themed Women in Technology: Promoting Gender Diversity in Technology, the GE Women’s Network Indonesia Hub’s Leadership Sharing Session focused on women and leadership in technology, engineering and infrastructure. The session had a panel of three women in senior leadership positions:
1. Jamie Miller, CEO and President of GE Transportation
2. Shinta Dhanuwardoyo, Founder of Bubu.com and Managing Partner at Nusantara Ventures
3. Leila Ubaidi, Executive Vice President of Station Maintenance, Preservation and Architecture Design and Planning, PT
Kereta Api Indonesia
Here are 3 empowering messages from the panel discussion to inspire women.
1. Gender parity or not, the key to success and achievement is wanting something enough. “I don’t think business is a man’s world. I believe that anyone, men or women, can achieve anything as long as they set their minds to it.” – Leila Ubaidi
2. Failure can pave the way to success. “I started my first company in 1996 with no background or experience in IT. I’ve failed a lot before succeeding but I believe that failing can be an invaluable way for a person to develop a deeper understanding and hone his or her expertise.” – Shinta Dhanuwardoyo
3. The future should be one where women are encouraged to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, as much as men are. “Right from the very beginning we don’t set girls up to be in an environment where they’re encouraged to pursue science, technology, engineering or math-driven careers. I think it’s important that we start as early as possible in encouraging girls and letting them know that it’s ok to be excited about these industries.” – Jamie Miller