Mengenal 5 Perempuan Indonesia yang Berperan Memajukan Bidang STEM

Get to know 5 Indonesian women who play a role in advancing the STEM field

In Indonesia, jobs in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are generally still associated with men. There is a growing perception that jobs in this field are more masculine. As a result, the role of women in STEM fields tends to be marginalized.

If we refer to data from the Ministry of Industry (2018), the number of female workers who are active in the STEM field is not yet comparable to that of men. Women only make up 12% of total workers in STEM fields. This number is even lower when compared to Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Even so, among the 12% there are a handful of women who have succeeded in taking part and excelling in the STEM field, and have even been recognized by world-renowned companies. These women succeeded in proving that the STEM field does not only belong to men. STEM fields are also not just hard skills, such as field practice, rolling cables, or going around fixing telecommunications networks. More broadly than that, this field also includes soft skills, for example finding solutions so that technology can be applied widely and produce various benefits.

Who are these female figures? Check out the complete list below.

Crystal Widjaja

The name Crystal Widjaja has been around quite a bit in the Indonesian and international startup world. This woman, who started her career at a startup in California, decided in 2015 to return to Indonesia and pursue a career at Gojek. Initially she was drawn into the business intelligence department but not long ago, Crystal was appointed senior vice president of business intelligence at Gojek. He is the figure responsible for handling the data "kitchen" from Gojek. Through Gojek Crystal, we can see how big the impact and potential of this application is for the lives of drivers. Apart from that, he also saw how Gojek improved the lives of Jakartans who were haunted by traffic jams every day.

In 2020, Crystal decided to leave Gojek. Since then he has been active as an advisor to several startups. She also founded Generation Girl, a non-profit organization focused on empowering girls ages 12–16 in STEM fields. Through Generation Girl Crystal wants to break the stereotype that STEM fields are only for men. As a result of her hard work, more than 150 teenage girls have graduated from the Generation Girl program with funding and support from Sequoia Capital, Google, WeWork, Kibar, L'Oreal, and many more.

Moorissa Tjokro

Behind the sophistication of Tesla's fully self-driving cars, it turns out that female Indonesian citizens are playing a role. She is Moorissa Tjokro, the first engineer from Indonesia who became 1 of 6 Autopilot Software Engineers working for Tesla, in California. This full self driving feature is one of Tesla's biggest projects where the driver no longer needs to step on the brake and gas pedals. The car will actually drive itself, not only on toll roads but also on regular roads. Apart from that, in her daily life, much of Moorissa's work is directly submitted or presented to Tesla CEO, Elon Musk.

Before working at Tesla, Moorissa worked at the United States Space Agency (NASA) as a machine learning researcher. Meanwhile, during college, the woman born in 1994 was also an outstanding student. While studying industrial engineering and statistics at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, he successfully graduated at the age of 19 with summa cum laude honors. Moorissa is also noted for receiving various awards, such as the President's Undergraduate Research Award and a Helen Grenga nomination for best female engineer at Georgia Tech.

Silvia Halim

The world of construction is often still considered the domain of men. However, Silvia Halim proves that construction work is for all genders. Through her abilities and dedication, Silvia became the Construction Director of MRT Jakarta, which was launched in 2019. With the existence of the MRT, the graduate of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, hopes that Indonesian people can experience public transportation as very efficient, comfortable, clean and making daily activities easier.

According to Silvia, the world of construction that she has been involved in can be run by both men and women. Because the knowledge needed in this world basically does not recognize gender. From what she experienced, she emphasized Indonesian women to look inside themselves and not place limits on themselves. The doubts that arise sometimes cover up the various potentials that one has.

Tri Mumpuni

Tri Mumpuni is a micro hydroelectric power plant scientist whose knowledge has been applied in 65 villages in Indonesia and one village in the Philippines through the Institute for Community Business and Economics (IBEKA). Thanks to his dedication to the field of electricity, in 2021 he was named the most influential Muslim scientist in the world according to The World's 500 Most Influential Muslims 2021 report.

The woman born in Semarang in 1964 also received the 2012 Ashden Awards. Tri's name was also mentioned in the speech of the 44th US President, Barack Obama, at the 2010 Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship.

Tri, who is often nicknamed the electric woman, has now been appointed by President Joko Widodo to the Steering Committee of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN).

Pratiwi Pudjilestari Sudarmono

Pratiwi's figure became a topic of conversation because she was a scientist who had the opportunity to represent Indonesia in collaboration with NASA. The plan was for him to be part of the team that went into space on the space shuttle Columbia on June 24, 1986. Unfortunately, the mission was canceled because the Challenger exploded on January 28, 1986, exactly 73 seconds after launch when the plane was 15 kilometers high. Even though she has not made it to space, Pratiwi's name is still known as Indonesia's first female astronaut.

His struggle to be included in the team that will be sent by NASA is the result of his research which examines human physical endurance in outer space. This is not without reason, because Pratiwi herself has a medical educational background. Currently, this scientist, born in 1952, is active as a professor of microbiology at the University of Indonesia.

These are five Indonesian female figures who have played a role in advancing the STEM field. Even though they are classified as a minority, their work is quite significant and has even made extensive contributions to Indonesian society and the world.

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