The Role of Corporate Culture to Achieve Gender Equality in the Workplace

 

Gender equality and diversity in the workplace are goals that continuously strived to achieve around the world, including in Indonesia. However, realizing this goal cannot just be done in one night. Many parties must play an active and involved role to create a healthy and friendly work culture for all parties in the company.

Gender equality in the working world itself is one form of implementation of equal opportunity in the workplace, where every individual gets the same job opportunities, careers, self-development, and treatment regardless of differences in ethnicity, race, religion or class, including gender.

According to research from Accenture (2018), equality in the work environment can be the key to drive innovation. Meanwhile, the Grant Thornton International report entitled “Women in Business 2018” stated that the company’s business can improve significantly with the presence of at least one woman in a senior management position.

It is reflected in the women leaders in Indonesia who made positive impacts on the company or community. Some of them are the Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani and the former Surabaya Mayor, who is currently serves as the Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini.

While within the Danareksa Group, women also occupy many strategic positions, namely the Director of Financial & Business Support PT Jalin Pembayaran Nusantara A. Pawitra Indriati, President Director of PT BRI Danareksa Sekuritas Friderica Widyasari, Director of PT Danareksa Investment Management Egi Indrawati, and Corporate Secretary of PT Danareksa (Persero) Putu Dewika Angganingrum.

Achieving gender equality in the workplace needs an active role from all parties. It can start with a strong leadership team that can openly set, share and measure equality targets. Create unbiased policies and practices in attracting and retaining people that are family-friendly and supportive for all genders. Build a work environment that trusts the employees, respects individuals, offers the freedom to be creative and to train and work flexibly.

Corporate Culture Plays A Vital Role in Creating Gender Equality in the Workplace

 

Corporate culture is a foundation. It contains norms, values, how employees work, and habits that will ultimately lead to the quality of organizational performance. If companies want to build a corporate culture that can create better gender equality for women to be able to develop and be creative, companies need to have an inclusive and diversity strategy. The strategy also must align with the company’s overall business plan as it will form a foundation for leaders to take action and drive progress.

Creating a culture of equality in the work environment must start from the top, the leader. Company leaders must establish base principles and philosophies in human resource management, where each individual is unique with all individual attributes, including gender. Furthermore, companies need to create a healthy work environment that respects individuals and offers freedom of creation. These basic principles and philosophies need to be put into action through several workplace policies, practices, and programs that must be created and supported to boost progress for all.

In Indonesia, steps to achieve gender equality in the work environment have started from the body of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN). BUMN Minister Erick Thohir, on various occasions, has repeatedly emphasized his hope that BUMN can achieve the target of 15 percent female leadership in the Board of Directors (BOD) by 2021 and 20 percent by 2023. The BUMN Srikandi Community was also established to provide a forum for women to work in BUMN so they can support each other, build personal and professional capability, and build awareness of all parties regarding competency-based career development and employee performance without any difference in opportunity due to gender.

PT Jalin Payment Nusantara (Jalin), which is part of BUMN with shares owned by Danareksa Group and Telkom Group, tries to answer the challenge of creating a healthy corporate culture and supporting this equality through three main values summarized in the JalinID culture, namely BISA, SINERGI, and TANGGUH. These three main values of Jalin are formed by referring to the values of Amanah, Kompeten, Harmonis, Loyal, Adaptif, and Kolaboratif (AKHLAK) BUMN to ensure harmony with the BUMN culture.

BISA represents a commitment to give more than the best by upholding integrity and professionalism at work. SINERGI represents the value of respecting others, creating and maintaining a harmonious work environment, and prioritizing teamwork. Meanwhile, TANGGUH represents passion and enthusiasm in a dynamic and balanced work environment.

Jalin is a national switching company with its Link service that has a nationwide network across Indonesia. Jalin always maintains employees work comfort by creating a work environment that ensures equality and equal opportunities for both male and female employees. Employees have equal career opportunities at the Company, including holding important positions for high-performing employees.

It is reflected in the job opportunities that women can get at Jalin. Every year, the number of female employees at Jalin continues to increase. In 2019, there were 35 female employees at Jalin. However, this number increased to 40 people in 2020. Women also get the same opportunities as men in strategic positions as long as they have the required competencies and abilities. In 2020, there were at least six women holding Unit Head positions and four women holding Vice President / Dept. Head position.

In addition, employee competency development programs are also carried out based on organizational needs regardless of the ethnic, religious, or gender aspects of the training participants. It can be seen from the fairly even composition of competency development participants for the last three years at Jalin. In 2020 alone, at least 198 technical skill training participants from a total of 496 training are female employees. Meanwhile, the soft skills training was mostly attended by women, namely 13 participants from a total of 22 training participants. This figure shows the great enthusiasm of female employees to always take an active role in increasing competitive value and building better competencies at work.

Building gender equality in the workplace does not come without challenges. The Minister of Manpower of the Republic of Indonesia, Ida Fauziyah, stated in the Women Lead Forum 2021 event that the obstacles faced by women workers were partly caused by double burdens, sexism, stereotypes in society, gender-based discrimination, and sexual harassment. For this reason, a good corporate culture and a national movement of non-discrimination in the workplace are the first steps that each company needs to take to ensure equality practices are well implemented.

In the end, gender equality is a goal that many companies around the world want to achieve, including Jalin. Achieving gender equality cannot be seen only from the number of women in a company. However, we must look from a broader perspective about the opportunities, the rights that are obtained, and the absence of bias in making decisions. Although realizing this is still a big challenge, but with the support of the Government and good corporate advocacy in promoting equality in the workplace, it is hoped that we can create a work environment that is friendly to women. Because, when women rise, companies will also rise up.