UN Women helps show Indonesian companies how to create gender-equal workplaces
Author: Bintang Aulia
Jakarta, Indonesia — UN Women has joined three business organizations in recent initiatives to encourage member companies of the Indonesia Stock Exchange to support their women workers.
They organized a Ring the Bell for Gender Equality ceremony at the stock exchange building on 8 March to mark International Women’s Day. That same day, Indonesia Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment did a workshop for the companies on how to watch out for gender bias.
Later in March, UN Women and Indonesia Global Compact Network did separate online workshops on how the companies should implement the Women’s Empowerment Principles developed by UN Global Compact and UN Women. In June, International Finance Corporation is scheduled to do a workshop on how companies should deal with gender-based violence and harassment. The series of workshops is part of this year’s Ring The Bell ceremony organized by the Indonesia Stock Exchange.
"We hope that companies in Indonesia's capital market can provide broader access to women to participate in optimal technology development, not just by celebrating International Women's Day ..”
— Risa Rustam, the Director of the Indonesia Stock Exchange
The four organizations joined officials of the stock exchange for the 8 March bell-ringing ceremony. The event's theme, Boosting Gender Equality through Innovation and Technology, aligned with UN Women's theme for this year's International Women's Day, DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.
UN Women’s The Gender Snapshot 2022 says that excluding women from the digital world has already resulted in a USD 1 trillion loss in the gross domestic product of low- and middle-income countries over the past decade. That will grow to USD 1.5 trillion by 2025 if we don't act, the report says.
"Businesses have an important role in catalysing women's economic participation and empowerment by ensuring gender-sensitive business practice and culture," Dwi Faiz, head of programmes of UN Women Indonesia, said at the bell-ringing ceremony.
Faiz thanked the 177 companies in Indonesia that have committed to advancing gender equality in their workplaces by signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles.
Risa Rustam, the Director of the Indonesia Stock Exchange, highlighted the finance and business sector's responsibility to create more opportunities for women in technological advances.
"We hope that companies in Indonesia's capital market can provide broader access to women to participate in optimal technology development, not just by celebrating International Women's Day, but to take concrete steps every day, especially towards a sustainable business," Rustam said.
The bell-ringing event was followed by the workshop in which participants learned how unconscious gender bias can hinder women from advancing in their careers and what companies can do to empower their women workers.
Participants from male-dominated industries such as oil and gas talked about their difficulties in finding women willing to take on work assignments away from home, in a culture where women are expected to care for the household and their children while men are expected to advance in their careers.
"When conducting gender analysis, we need to ensure: Does everyone has the same access? Does everyone able to participate equally?" said Syafirah Hardani, the advocacy manager for Indonesia Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment who led the workshop.
Mita Guritno, the chairperson of HHP Law Firm, said after participating in the workshop, "Women empowerment is one of the things that I've always been interested in. We have a pretty equal staff number in our office, but as it grows more senior, it's tough for women to move up the ladder."
Guritno said she hoped the workshops would show her how she could help more women in her firm advance their careers, whether through hiring, training, or promoting.