Inspiring Indonesian Women (IWD 2020)

The Paradigma team acknowledges three inspiring Indonesian women for International Women’s day 2020

There are more women trailblazing than ever — whether it’s by becoming leaders or by living their own lives unapologetically. We are still working for a more equitable future, but we’ve come a long way since days when women couldn’t vote.

Here at The Paradigma, a publication made of three young women, we are constantly inspired by female figures — be it our moms, friends or role models! Here are three inspiring Indonesian women who are pioneers in their respective line of work and individuals we look up to. 

Hillary Bakrie

United Nationals Officer

Why we chose Hillary: The Paradigma team first got in touch with Hillary after doing one of first features on her. Since then, we have constantly been inspired by her thoughtfulness, sense of style, and projects like the Indonesian UN Mentorship Program — a mentorship program aimed to increase the number of Indonesian youths at the United Nations. 

United Nations Officer
  • As a woman, what value is more important to you? 

The quality I admire the most would be one’s ability to be unapologetic, which is something I am still trying to practice. I think it’s hard because as a modern woman you are taught to be fearless or you have to sound bold, take a stand and fight for yourself. All these things are true but at the same time being unapologetic about your identity as a feminist or existence as a woman is not something you acquire overnight. It’s ok to admit you are not that person everyday.

  • What is your biggest insecurity and how do you manage it?

My biggest insecurity would be feeling like I shouldn’t be the person telling the story (when advocating for a cause). I make sure that when I tell other people’s stories, it’s not as if they’re my own. It’s important for me to use my space and privileges the right way. 

I try to manage it by making sure I reach out to the people I am advocating for and making sure the world knows I am learning from them. I make sure that when I have the opportunity I would champion them.

  • Vision for the next generation of Indonesian women?

Should be more critical and non-oblivious. 

Geneva Damayanti

United National Public Information Officer

Why we chose Geneva: Having lived in many countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, and now New York, Geneva’s identity as a global citizen stands out to us. With experience across various industries and companies like Wall Street Journal and the UNDP, Geneva is well-traveled and well-versed. The Paradigma team believes exposure to living abroad helps mold perception and character, and we believe Geneva is a modern role model young girls can look up to.

United Nation Public Information Officer
  • As a woman, what value is more important to you? 

Self-determination and what I mean by that is the ability to make our own choice and have control over own lives; whatever that choice is, without feeling guilty, burdened or ashamed.

  • What is your biggest insecurity and how do you manage it?

Insecurity? Hmm, where do I start. One is inability to balance all aspects of my life; career, social, personal, family and so on. Two is insecurity over having impact or influence in the people and the cause I care about. The list goes on. But, I have been able to overcome them through acceptance, compromise and support from people around me.

  • Vision for the next generation of Indonesian women?

The next generation of Indonesian women are happy and fulfilled – because they have equal access to opportunities, because they have safe platforms to express themselves and because they are empowered to make their own choices without having to suffer stereotypes and negative judgement.

Umi Syam

Graphics/Multimedia Editor at New York Times

Why we chose Umi: Umi Syam is a creative individual and her track record proves that. Whether it’s using graphics to tell stories for the New York Times or content curation for her personal food blog, she constantly produces innovative and original work (Check out New York Times’ This is 18). The Paradigma team is impressed with her creation, talent, and modesty– and underrated, refreshing quality that makes her stand out.

Graphics/Multimedia Editor at the New York Times
  • As a woman, what value is most important to you? 

The most underrated of all, is to know and realize their own value and self-worth! 

  • What failure didn’t end up being as much of a big deal as you initially thought?

The failure of not meeting a certain societal expectation. That people will always try to tell you how to live your life but the decisions that you make are not your failure. Even if it creates a step back, you own your mistakes and the sooner you realize, the sooner you’ll bounce back.

  • Vision for your next generation of Indonesian women?

To survive gender bias in every layer of social interaction but to navigate them with exemplary kindness.

If you’ve liked our list of inspiring Indonesian women- be sure to follow on instagram for updates!

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