From OLIO, Roccamore, Fungtn, Ruby Cup, and other Female Owned Business Perspectives
Earlier this month, the world celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) to mark a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The IWD’s theme for this year is “Choose to Challenge” as the challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. In line with the theme, in this article, BRIGHT Indonesia will discuss the challenges of women in doing business. To identify, celebrate, and increase the visibility of women’s achievements that can forge equality, we interview four young female entrepreneurs that are currently a part of BRIGHT Indonesia’s team.
Empowered Women in the Business World
International Women’s Day is a day that is celebrated by all women in the world, including the world’s business. On March 8, 2021, the Danish-British Association, the British Chamber of Commerce in Denmark, and the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce organized an event to empower these women entitled “International Women’s Day Panel Discussion”. Organizers said that “International Women’s Day is a global day to celebrate women and the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements they have achieved.” So that discussions about the business carried out by great women can be a lesson for other empowered women.
The event was started with a short speech from British Ambassador to Denmark, Emma Hopkins. Emma stated that the gender gap is still very much felt in society. The gender pay gap still exists today where female workers earn lower salaries than male workers. In addition, women who run businesses also receive lower funds in the United Kingdom where there is still a gender pay gap of 15.5%.
According to Emma, there are some ways that we could fight for gender equality. As women, we must be able to be objective leaders by setting our own rules as the basis for our behavior and always pay attention to social practices and pro-family policies. Also, leave stereotypes for all circles because gender inequality actually harms not only women but also several other parties. To fight for gender equality, it is important to have a bottom-up approach in the discussion of gender equality which is also supported by data as additional facts. And the most important thing is that we have to support other women in work and be a mentor for each other.
Milena Kotevska, Head of Operations of Roccamore
There were four panelists in this panel discussion, one of which was Milena Kotevska who is the Head of Operations of Roccamore, Denmark’s high heel shoe brand. Milena said that women have got their own stereotypes from their surroundings even though women should have their own ambitions and voices. Do not be afraid to be the only woman in a room full of men because standing out isn’t a bad thing. And for Milena, men must also be involved in upholding gender equality by showing a community perspective where they will also get the benefit there is gender equality.
Shasha Celestial-One, Co-Founder of OLIO
Sasha Celestial-One from OLIO, the mobile app for food-sharing, also explained that there are several problems in society that make women often stay away from the business world, such as lack of fundings and appropriate role models. For Sasha, being a woman is actually a secret weapon because women can do anything if they want to. It is important to be confident and express yourself enough to not cause distraction. We have to focus on the product, company, and the whole business situation instead of looking up for gender-based mistakes.
Zoey Henderson, Founder of Fungtn
Followed by Zoey Henderson, Founder of Fungtn, an alcohol-free craft beer company, who stated that men and women actually have the same position. Although she had experienced discrimination in the early days when she started a business where male colleagues did not think that she was the leader of the company, preferring to talk to other male colleagues who were considered more capable, Zoey considered that women should have more action. We have to know what we want and what we are going to do next. We have to know what our business is about and so there will be no excuse for men to interrupt us based on our gender. She also stated that it is important for men to also discuss women to support gender equality.
Julie Weigaard Kjaer, CEO of Ruby Cup
Last one, Julie Weigaard Kjaer, CEO of Ruby Cup, a sustainable and reusable menstrual cup company, began her talk with her earlier story about her business. She said that when she was introducing herself in a pitching session, everybody in the room asked her position while she was actually the CEO, which seems like women could not be a leader. From that experience, she always reminds herself to listen and learn from the surroundings, and also, gender is nothing more than a biological classification.
BRIGHT Indonesia’s Female Employees and Entrepreneurs
Here in BRIGHT Indonesia, we seek to inoculate entrepreneurial spirit regardless of gender. Our members are drawn from the brightest minds that have high-quality skills to cater to our client’s interests. Some of our members are high-performing young females with a passion for both business and consulting. As a platform of individual development, we do not limit our members’ growth potential and give them room to grow both professionally and personally.
To enlighten, engage, and empower females in the business world, we have interviewed young female entrepreneurs working in BRIGHT Indonesia to learn how they balance their work and side hustle.
Nabila Anbar: Developing Negotiation Skills while Preserving Flower Through Art
Nabila Anbar Putri is BRIGHT Indonesia’s Associate Partner and Co-head of Consulting. Her work at BRIGHT Indonesia includes writing articles, arranging business meetings, identifying business opportunities, networking and prospecting potential clients, supporting trade promotional activities, and developing strategic solutions and closing deals. Nabila also has a unique handmade jewelry side business made from dried flowers and resin called “Potato in the Sky”.
Nabila is currently leading one project that involves securing agreements between client and its future Indonesian business partners. She mentioned that working in BRIGHT Indonesia has helped develop her negotiation skill that contributes to the growth of her business. Moreover, because BRIGHT Indonesia has an open communication work style, Nabila felt that her communication skill has improved and can communicate better with her customers.
“Effort and hard work are not determined by gender role and anyone can do business if they want to.” – Nabila Anbar
Inspired by preserving a flower bouquet given to her. Now, her handmade resin flower art brand that started in September 2020 has a total of 1,100 followers on Instagram and has fans across Indonesia. Recently, on International women’s day, she launched a new product with the tagline of “becoming the best of you.” Although she faces many challenges from time management, personal health, and production Nabila felt supported by the community as the resin jewelry industry is female-dominated. She saw big opportunities in the resin creative industry as it is still an untapped market in Indonesia. For the future of her brand, she has plans to affiliate with bigger players in the industry and have a workshop studio in the next five years.
Stara Mutiara: Developing Communication Skill while Following Passion Through Fashion
As a Business Development and Consultant Intern at BRIGHT Indonesia, Stara Mutiara is involved in a lot of the company’s projects including market research, organizing market entry webinars, and maintaining relationships with partners. Stara is also a very passionate young woman that has her own mask brand called By Stara.
BRIGHT Indonesia saw Stara’s potential in handling customers and giving her the opportunity to join many projects that involved talking with clients, partners, and stakeholders. Through one of her projects in BRIGHT Indonesia, Stara managed to seal deals with client’s future partners effectively with her communication skills, making her a valuable team member in any projects that she was involved in. She said that working in BRIGHT Indonesia really pushes her communication skill to its full potential that goes hand in hand with her side hustle.
“Doing business is not just about profit, rather is about the connection with the customers and providing the best customer service.” – Stara Mutiara
With her experience in selling goods since Junior High School and the support of her mother who is an expert in fashion, she decided to design her own mask brand that is now loved by many. COVID-19 has made masks as a fashion, Stara saw the opportunity and started her brand in July 2020 and currently has 2,300 followers on Instagram in just eight months.
Although Stara faces many challenges in time management and a competitive market, she is eager to grow her business. She plans to add a mask strap and hijab connector to her brand and expand her line to sportswear and casual clothing in the future.
Chika Erizka and Sabrina Faradise: Dealing with Clients while Turning Hobby into Business by Tyche
Chika Erizka, is a part of BRIGHT Indonesia’s Business Development Team and Sabrina Faradise is a part of BRIGHT Indonesia’s Government Relation Team. They are in charge of a lot of the company’s projects including market research, organizing market entry webinars, and maintaining relationships with various clients and government related partners. Being a part of BRIGHT Indonesia was a very insightful lesson for them that they implemented in their business.
Chika and Sabrina started their fashion business in mid-2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Indonesia. These two friends were always into fashion and saw the opportunity when people have to stay home for a long period. “Tyche” is an online-based self-manufactured tie-dye pajamas brand that they have been running for almost a year. Tie-dye pajamas become the solution when people want to look good while being comfortable at home. In less than a year, Tyche got more than 1000 followers on Instagram and positive reviews from their customers, including influencer.
In running their business, they have found some obstacles that might challenge the pajamas sales. “Tyche” was not the first tie-dye pajamas brand in the industry. To make the brand stand out, they have to make a good digital marketing strategy and that’s how they got their followers and customers. Time management is also a challenge itself. They have to manage their business from scratch by themself alone while having other activities such as working in BRIGHT Indonesia.
“To be motivated in running a business, we have to set our goal and be persistent about it.” – Chika Erizka
As a woman, Chika and Sabrina did not find any difficulties because they were getting motivation from themself. They always think that it is important to have your own motivation, either short-term or long-term, as the key of encouragement to start a business, especially as a woman. BRIGHT Indonesia has a very intimate work culture where they can learn teamwork very easily while working on a project. They also hone their communication skill because they used to deal with various clients. And the most important thing is running their own business and working in BRIGHT Indonesia Business Development and Government Relation team is not an easy job, so they learned time management as well.
For the next five years, they hope they can see their business possibly growing and have their own offline store.
BRIGHT Indonesia for International Women’s Day
Being a woman is a secret weapon that can actually be used in all aspects of life, including business. Until now, there are still many inequalities felt by women in the business world, such as differences in wages with male workers, being seen as “unable” to do their jobs and many other discriminations that make being a woman appear lower than a man. Not only women, but men also took part in creating gender equality. So that the welfare of gender equality can be felt by everyone.
BRIGHT Indonesia has a work culture that is inclusive of the gender differences of its workers. We believe that men and women have their strengths and weaknesses that can complement each other so that differences are not a problem. BRIGHT Indonesia believes in the self-growth of its team members and has a main work-side hustle balance environment regardless of gender. We make International Women’s Day as a form of our appreciation for women workers who have worked wonderfully without limits.
“There is no limit as we, as women, can accomplish.” -Michelle Obama
Join Our Team!
Women bring a lot of diversity to a workplace that helps to build inspiring work culture by bringing in fostering teamwork, bonding, and healthy competition to help a company grow to its full potential. In an effort to encourage more women to join the business workforce, BRIGHT Indonesia offers many benefits that include flexible working hours and learning organizational culture.
Working in BRIGHT Indonesia, you will be assigned to work on projects in different sectors to help you build new skills, shape new perspectives, and realize your full potential growth. We are dedicated to demonstrate integrity in everything we do to put our clients’ interests first. We aim to bridge the gap between Indonesia and Global World. Join us, and you can too.
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This article is Co-Written with Rania Savira