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Upnormals Pingfans’ head of digital on gender and diversity in talent in Indonesia

Upnormals Pingfans’ head of digital Adhani Siregar tries her utmost to be a support system for every woman in her digital marketing agency. She constantly empowers female colleagues to grow their abilities at work and encourages them to pick up healthy habits such as sports together.

Women accounts for 80% of the team at Upnormals Pingfans in Jakarta. According to Siregar, the company never factors in gender during its recruitment process and focuses instead, on assessing competencies. Additionally, it provides three rest days for women to take while on their period. Speaking to Marketing Interactive, Siregar said that women are generally well-represented in Indonesia and they should make the best of it to live up to their fullest potential. More from her below.

Marketing Interactive: In terms of advertising and marketing best practices, how progressive is Indonesia in gender diversity and equality?

I don’t think gender and diversity progressiveness can be measured by certain degree. But I think, Indonesia is quite progressive for gender diversity. I have never found out any cases that women got discriminated because of her gender. I think the advertising and marketing industry in Indonesia is one of the pioneers of how women and men are treated equally, in which quality of works are defined by the competency and output, not by gender.

To put it into perspective, Indonesia is now in the midst of national elections. In terms of marketing, many parties put their female candidates upfront. If we compared it to previous election, I don’t think women were in the spotlight as much as men as the political climate is dominated by men. This year, I can see men and women stand together in the upcoming election.

Marketing Interactive: Last year, the #MeToo movement took the world by storm. Did it have any impact in the local adland?

I did not feel it has an impact in Indonesia. More initiative should be done on this campaign because we actually need it. As I witness the news that comes on the television or other mass media, there are still many problems that need to be resolved first before we can move forward to do the #MeToo Movement. For an example, many people still have the victim-blaming mentality, saying that women need to cover up to avoid being sexually assaulted. But that’s not the case, as I see it myself that even the woman in full body coverage can be a victim as well.

Marketing Interactive: What are some of the biggest challenges that female bosses face? Have you experienced any yourself?

We, as women, know every little details in every single thing, right? This is reflected when I run any project in my agency. I’m a very detailed person, as every woman can be. When I find even the tinniest hole in some projects, my habit is to keep digging into it or make it as perfect as possible but as the result the project will not run on track with the timeline. I let it run first with my back-up plan in hand. If some problems arise, I already have the answer to it.

Marketing Interactive: Are there any mantras you go by and want to pass it on to other existing or aspiring female leaders?

“Perfection beyond limitation.” Women have to go beyond gender. They should never think as a woman, but think as an empowered human. In all kinds of managerial and leadership activities, humanising interactions will go a long way towards changing the way your team mates perceive you.

Marketing Interactive: What are your hopes for women in leadership?

As I said before, women have the gifts to be as detailed as possible if they try. My hope for aspiring women leaders is to utilise that gift and use it to a greater cause. My agency involves lot more women than men, this is a simple thing for other agency to follow on. I expect more women could make an impact in creative industry. Don’t let limitations define you.

Read more:
FCB Jakarta’s Sony Nichani on women supporting each other in leadership roles
Wavemaker Indonesia’s Eni Kiswanti on biggest barriers for women in adland
Initiative Indonesia MD Riszti Primula speaks up on equal opportunities for women
Zalora Indonesia’s Dwi Ajeng on how she sees #MeToo in local context

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