Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau. Born in May 1977, 41-year-old Meyli Marlina, a logistics supply chain manager at RAPP — a pulp and paper company located in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau — and chairwoman of the company’s Tolong Menolong co-operative, is one of many female empowerment success stories in the company's recent history.
Joining the company in 1999, Myeli started her career in sales administration as an invoicing officer, and rose up the ranks in a very short amount of time.
"April Group is a firm supporter of gender equality and has been for years. If you’re up to the task, man or woman, you can have any job you want. I’ve never once been looked down to as inferior," said Meyli during an interview at RAPP’s headquarters in Riau on Tuesday (13/02).
After two years, Meyli was made a supervisor in 2001. In 2004, when she was only 27, Meyli became a sales administrative manager when the company merged their pulp and paper productions. By 2007, the department she lead became a supply management chain.
Since 2015, Meyli has held the position of logistics supply chain manager, heading small "continuous improvement" projects to help maintain April Group’s competitiveness in the global market.
When asked why she decided to work for RAPP, Meyli said "my father worked for RAPP, he was involved in the construction of the factories, and he predicted that the company would become huge."
With a background in marketing and management from Riau University, Meyli's career progression in the company seemed only natural.
"I was promoted to manager when I was only 27. I was hesitant, I didn’t believe I was ready. My boss insisted, but I kept resisting until he told me we can’t really judge our own skills, we should let other people decide if we’re ready. I was challenged to hold the position for three months, if things don’t go well, I could have my old position back. I took on the challenge and never looked back," Meyli said.
During her time at RAPP, Meyli has not only set a new standard for women in the company, she also established Tolong Menolong (Helping Hand), a co-operative to help employees and their families in times of need.
"Something happened in 2010 that motivated me. my co-worker's child suffered from a terminal illness. I wanted to help but we didn’t have a program to take care of something like this. So we put up a proposal to the management. That was when the 'One Dollar for One Dollar' initiative was born. We managed to collect Rp 1.5 billion ($111,000). We’ve also introduced the concept outside of Riau," Meyli said.
She said the program was completely voluntary, people can join and stop anytime.
Meyli is a firm believer in teamwork, integrity and executing one’s ideas to the best of one's ability. "Your success is seldom your own, we shouldn’t forget the people that helped us along the way," she said.